BROADBAND WOES - Governor's Office Shuts Down Broadband Audit

(05/29/2013)

'BROADBAND' SMOKE AND MIRRORS WORLD

By Bob Weaver

Since the 1990s its been a smoke and mirrors game, the promise to bring real broadband to West Virginia's most rural counties.

Starting with visions, planning, seminars, conferences, political announcements and you name it, while there has been some progress, most of rural West Virginia has sub-standard "broadband" service, and much of it has no service at all.

It's been difficult to get straight answers from Frontier Communications. While facing major challenges, the company has been masterful in the smoke and mirrors department.

Then there is a fiasco regarding the spending of government funds to get the broadband job done. It's a mess, and no one wants to be held accountable.

Attending conferences in the 1990s, the promissory message was that broadband infrastructure will be the salvation of rural America, you can provide education, connect government, and run a business anywhere, certainly focusing on West Virginia's most impoverish 26 counties, when tens of thousands of low-paying production jobs have been globalized.

Tomblin's Office Shut Down Broadband Audit
By Eric Eyre/May 27, 2013

wvgazette.com

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A consulting firm hired by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration started an audit of the state's use of $126.3 million in stimulus funds to expand high-speed Internet, but the governor's office abruptly stopped the review in May 2011, records show. Tomblin's office had given the go-ahead for the audit after ICF International submitted a scathing memo about the statewide project, finding that the state was using the stimulus funds to build a fragmented broadband network that solely benefited Frontier Communications, West Virginia's largest high-speed Internet provider.

ICF also criticized Frontier for "inadequate project documentation" that failed to comply with federal grant rules...

Read the rest at   wvgazette.com


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