Louisiana lawmakers want their $80M broadband grant back

A number of Louisiana state senators want Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to find a way to get the U.S. Commerce Dept. to overturn a ruling that revoked an $80 million grant to build a middle mile network that would provide services to the state's rural and lower-income areas.

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce said it was rescinding the state's broadband grant. On the same day, state senators based in New Orleans and Delhi called to appeal the decision because they believe Louisiana needs the money to help economically challenged residents.

Paul Rainwater, Jindal's commissioner of administration, said that he will see what provisions can be made with the Commerce Dept. to get the funding reinstated.  

The Commerce Dept.'s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency administering the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) through which the money was awarded, decided to revoke the grant because it felt that Louisiana would not be able to complete the project on time. However, Rainwater maintains that the Board of Regents should not have applied for the grant in the first place.

For more:
- WDSU.com has this article

Related articles:
Louisiana's middle mile project halts as broadband grant is revoked
North Florida's broadband initiative comes under government fire
University of Wisconsin's broadband project clears legal challenge
Wisconsin's stimulus rejection: Too many strings, or too much scrutiny?

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