Republicans blast 'wasteful' Internet
stimulus program...evidence and facts support this allegation.
Corruption Busters latest investigation examines fraud and wasteful spending of stimulus monies administered by US Department of Commerce NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) for BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunity Program) that was purported to close the digital divide across America.
By Brendan Sasso - 02/27/13 04:17 PM ET
House Republicans claimed at a hearing on Wednesday that a federal program aimed at expanding broadband Internet access is rife with wasteful spending.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, accused the Obama administration of wasting millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars on unnecessary projects and overspending through the $7 billion program, which was part of the economic stimulus bill approved by Congress in 2009.
"Promoting broadband is a laudable goal. But there are many laudable goals," Walden said. "From what we know now, the government has spent millions on equipment it did not need and on stringing fiber to areas that already had it."
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) questioned the necessity of the broadband stimulus and suggested that the $2.5 billion in unused funds should be given back to the Treasury.
Larry Stricking, the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which oversees BTOP, pushed back against the Republican criticism in several testy exchanges with lawmakers.
He argued that
received heavy discounts for the high-end
routers, meaning it was a better fiscal decision to buy them than lower
capacity routers. West
"We're confusing the capabilities of what they're getting with the cost that they paid," Strickling insisted.
Barton pressed Strickling to estimate how many homes the program has connected to broadband Internet.
"You're misapprehending the focus of our program," Strickling said, arguing that the NTIA focused on expanding "middle-mile" broadband networks to schools, libraries and hospitals, while encouraging private companies to extend the networks to homes and businesses.
So, how effective was the two year program that began in 2010 and mostly concluded in 2012?
We will next examine case studies to illustrate how millions of dollars spent DID NOT result to SUSTAINABLE BROADBAND ADOPTION.