UPDATED: Richmond, Calif. broadband grant faces federal scrutiny

Richmond, Calif. is facing a review from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on allegations that the city submitted a number of "erroneous reports" in its application for a $400,000 broadband stimulus grant.

According to an article in The Bay Citizen, Katy Curl, Richmond's Library and Cultural Services director, said that her department could not find documentation for $57,000 of in-kind services, including electricity and phone service, it had provided over the past two years.

"We used the numbers in good faith that they were correct," Curl said. "As we looked back, it wasn't a number that could be verified."

The NTIA decided to review the city's grant following an unidentified whistle-blower compliant form a finance manager in Richmond's Library and Cultural Services Department.

A part of Richmond's grant was designed to have community organizations such as the Richmond Adult School, which is offering Internet service training for residents, provide in-kind services.

Richmond, Calif. of course, is not the only city that's come under fire for alleged misuse of NTIA broadband stimulus funds.

Two cases in point came in both Louisiana and Florida.

Louisiana lost its $80.5 million broadband grant last year, while a number of local administrations in the north central Florida area, including Bradford County, the city of Perry, and Taylor County voted to drop out of the North Florida Broadband Authority.

For more:
- The Bay Citizen has this article

Commentary: Failures and triumphs on the road to broadband ubiquity

Related articles:
Perry, Fla. drops out of North Florida Broadband Authority
Report: Bradford County withdraws from North Florida Broadband Authority
Vermont secures $3.1M to expand broadband availability

* Minor Correction: Changed article to reflect that it is Richmond, Calif. not Richmond, Va.

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