Don’t miss today’s article from Franklin Center’s Watchdog Minnesota reporter, Tom Steward, Congress investigating MN broadband stimulus project. This excerpt caught my eye:
“While the committee recognizes the importance of expanding broadband access to rural areas of the country, we are concerned with suggestions that the BIP program may have been used to overbuild existing systems rather than extend service to areas that legitimately meet the underserved/unserved eligibility requirements,” states Upton’s nine-page letter. “Materials reviewed by committee staff also raise questions as to whether RUS adequately considered the financial viability of the Lake County project before committing $66.4 million in government funding.”
“Overbuilding diverts scare budget resources from areas without broadband service to areas with service and can impede vital private-sector investment,” the committee’s letter says. “Given the need to ensure the most efficient and effective use of federal dollars and guard against waste, fraud, and abuse, we ask that GAO conduct an in-depth analysis of work already completed under BIP.”
Couldn’t have said it better.