osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Link Harvest: Louisiana Cancels Broadband Project

Louisiana now becomes the second state to cancel a stimulus grant for tens of millions of dollars to build broadband because the Republican governor decided it was "unfair" for the state to compete with "the private sector."

Update: Senator Mary Landrieu criticizes Jindal for returning money.

Unlike in Wisconsin, where Governor Walker became governor after the state had applied for and received the money, Jindal was governor and signed off on the application for BTOP funds. What changed, apparently, was that Jindal had hoped to shift that money from the project as proposed, under which the non-commercial "Louisiana Broadband Alliance" would build milddle-mile fiber connecting "anchor institutions" such as schools and libraries that could then be leveraged by local ISPs, to a single, commercially owned provider. When the Commerce Department turned down this attempt to re-purpose/steal the money, Jindal canceled the project.

This not only steals from the people of Louisiana, but from every other applicant for BTOP funds that applied (and believe me, it was waaaaaay oversubscribed). Money returned to Commerce is now, by law, returned back to the Treasury rather than given to other applicants. As an insult to injury, opponents of such stimulus programs will continue to count the money from cancelled projects in their rhetoric of how much the government "wasted" for purportedly no benefit. That such claims are made by those actively sabotaging such programs and their ideological allies is generally lost in the news coverage.

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