Currently, thousands in Wisconsin don’t have access to a local television station because of fighting going on between two corporations. DirecTV owner, AT&T and parent company to WLAX, FOX 25-48, Nexstar Media Group are in the midst in of contract negations, and while these are going on, DirecTV has pulled WLAX from the air.

Folks have lost access to local news, emergency services, and watching Green Bay Packers games. And if things continue like this for much longer, they won’t be able to watch the Pack kick off their new (hopefully Super Bowl) season.

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Last week, I sent a letter to Nexstar and AT&T telling them that Wisconsinites deserved better. At the end of the day blackouts like this only hurt consumers — especially those in rural areas. Because of the lack broadband in these areas, rural customers often don’t have access to alternative ways to stream the news or Packers games.

Companies shouldn’t be able to take away access to channels we rely on because of a disagreement. While Nexstar and AT&T negotiate a contract, Wisconsinites shouldn’t be punished, which is why I asked for the service to these local stations be restored immediately. When the Packers kick off their preseason against the Houston Texans on Aug. 8, Wisconsinites should be able to tune in and cheer them on without interruption.

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Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse, represents Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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