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Washington Watchdog: $14M Wasted on Broadband Effort in W.Va.

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Washington Watchdog: $14M Wasted on Broadband Effort in W.Va. Alone

To ensure the United States remained competitive economically, the government came up with $7 billion in 2009 to spread broadband across the country and hook up thousands of communities.

In March, Larry Strickling, an administrator with the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, spoke on Capitol Hill, lauding the program for deploying more than 86,000 miles of broadband structure, building 12,000 connections for schools and libraries, and generating more than 500,000 new broadband subscribers.

“The vast majority of our projects have performed well,” he told ABC News after the hearing. “We are quite happy with the program.”

But in one West Virginia closet, stacks of high-speed routers sat unused, paid for by U.S. taxpayers at the tune of $20,000 a piece – all because the state bought too many of the wrong routers. In that closet has sat $1.25 million in routers – equal to a year’s pay for 30 teachers – gathering dust for nearly three years.

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