Friday, January 16, 2015

Idaho: Schools not properly using expensive broadband access

A liberal and Big Labor rally cry is that Americans need more broadband internet access--particularly students. In fact, President Obama declared so just two days ago "Today, I see broadband as not a luxury, it's a necessity," he said. "It's about helping a student access the online courses . . . that can help her pursue her dreams."

Well this dream is a big waste of money in Idaho, as AP tells us:
A new audit shows that slightly more than half of schools surveyed aren't using the equipment purchased through Idaho's pricey broadband network and that nearly 6 percent of the videoconferencing equipment can't be located.

Legislative auditors told budget writers Thursday that use of the Idaho Education Network, a program that provides broadband access to public schools, has declined since 2012.

"They're not utilizing these assets as much as we'd probably like them to," Legislative Services Office manager April Renfro said. "Overall, 47 percent is not a very high utilization rate."
A District Court voided the $60 million broadband contract in November after finding the state violated its own procurement laws. Otter has urged state officials to rebid the contract as well as propose spending $7.2 million next year to keep the program afloat for 12 more months. However, the future of the network and how it will be financed are unknowns.

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