Iowa to Revoke Free University Internet Service? (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 17:05:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ryan Thornburg <rmt@email.unc.edu>

The Iowa State House is scheduled to vote today on legislation, that, as I
understand it, would effectively end Internet use at the state's public
universities by no longer providing free Internet service to students.
Chances of the bill passing are reportedly, "50-50."

According to the student paper at the University of Iowa 
(http://www.uiowa.edu/~dlyiowan/), "The bill,
which the Iowa Senate passed 35-14 on March 25, would require students to
pay for Internet service through private companies. Currently, students at
the three state universities (the UI, the University of Northern Iowa and
Iowa State University) receive free access to the Internet from the Iowa
Communications Network (ICN). If the measure moves through the House, it
also will have to be approved by Gov. Terry Branstad. 

If the bill is passed, the only way students will be able to register for
classes and check e-mail or grades is by using computers at one of the 23
Instructional Technology Center (ITCs) on campus, said Eric Schmidt, Weeg
Help Desk consultant and UI sophomore. 

The propnents of this bill complain that the University is prohibiting
free-market competition of local ISPs and that the local telephone
companies are being screwed out of fees. And, oh yeah, it's just too much
trouble to make sure students are doing "academic" work online.

Next thing we know, Barnes and Noble will be trying to get a bill passed
forcing students to read library books only on campus.

You can read all about this mess at

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