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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Making dollars and sense of the open data economy | O'Reilly Radar

Making dollars and sense of the open data economy | O'Reilly Radar | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Over the past several years, I’ve been writing about how government data is moving into the marketplaces, underpinning ideas, products and services. Open government data and application programming interfaces to distribute it, more commonly known as APIs, increasingly look like fundamental public infrastructure for digital government in the 21st century.

What I’m looking for now is more examples of startups and businesses that have been created using open data or that would not be able to continue operations without it. If big data is a strategic resource, it’s important to understand how and where organizations are using it for public good, civic utility and economic benefit.

Sometimes government data has been proactively released, like the federal government’s work to revolutionize the health care industry by making health data as useful as weather data or New York City’s approach to becoming a data platform.

In other cases, startups like Panjiva or BrightScope have liberated government data through Freedom of Information Act requests and automated means. By doing so, they’ve helped the American people and global customers understand the supply chain, the fees associated with 401(k) plans and the history of financial advisors.

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Minnesota Needs an Ongoing Broadband Entity to Meet State Goals | Blandin on Broadband

Minnesota Needs an Ongoing Broadband Entity to Meet State Goals | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
The Minnesota Broadband Task Force 2012 Annual Report and Broadband Plan was released Tuesday afternoon. Folks have been asking me about what I think about it. So while my opinion is just that and isn’t worth anything more than that – I have attended a lot of these meetings over the years so I’ve been able to see the hours of good work that’s gone into the efforts to bring better broadband to Minnesota. I’d encourage others to voice their opinions too. You could send notes to Connect Minnesota or the Department of Commerce. Or post them here and I’ll do what I can to make sure Task Force gets your notes. I think comments would be welcome as the Task Force plans to focus on specific issues in 2013.

I was disheartened a couple of weeks ago to see that Minnesota is “average” in its broadband efforts (according to a recent TechNet report). I think as a state we need to step it up if we really do want to be a national and world leader in broadband. I’m glad that the Task Force report made the point too – very clearly on page one in Margaret Anderson Kelliher’s introductory letter when she says…

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FCC moves to open up 3.5GHz band for small cells | TeleGeography

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed the creation of a new Citizens Broadband Service in the 3550MHz-3650MHz band currently used for military and satellite operations. The proposed service will promote the deployment and use of small cells and spectrum sharing, in order to enable more efficient use of radio spectrum.

The 3.5GHz band was identified by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for shared federal and non-federal use in the 2010 Fast Track Report.

The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also seeks comment on whether to include the 3650-3700 MHz band, which is already used for commercial broadband services. Together, these proposals would make up to 150MHz of contiguous spectrum available for mobile and fixed-wireless broadband services without displacing mission-critical incumbent systems.
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Rational broadband investment: Why the FCC's new task force is a good step forward | FierceTelecom

Rational broadband investment: Why the FCC's new task force is a good step forward | FierceTelecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
In an era of scarce capital, the U.S. communications industry is making a remarkable investment in our country's infrastructure. In 2011, wireline, wireless and cable companies spent a total of $66 billion on their networks. But while all of that is encouraging, there is still room for improvement. That is why Chairman Genachowski's announcement that the Federal Communications Commission has formed a task force to study the technology transition to broadband and IP is great news. And given that this transition impacts state as well as federal regulation, it is helpful that state regulators via NARUC will have input.

The incumbent telephone companies' traditional voice service has lost more than two-thirds of its subscribers to either wireless or cable-company voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) competitors. Because this is a high-fixed cost business, the cost-per-remaining-subscriber on the old network has increased sharply as subscribers have left plain-old-telephone-service (POTS). Nevertheless, various regulatory requirements make it difficult for the phone companies to stop providing legacy POTS over a circuit-switched TDM network even where they have new IP-based broadband networks.

This is not a small-ticket problem. In 2009, a report by the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information called Broadband in America estimated that roughly $10 billion per year would be invested in legacy phone networks each year from 2009 through 2011 by the three largest wireline carriers (CITI, Table 5). That $30 billion would represent more than 40 percent of the capital spent by the phone companies in those three years--$30 billion spent to provide an obsolete service that consumers are abandoning in droves.

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Entertainment Industry Mourns The End Of 'Hollywood' Howard Berman Being Their Personal Voice In Congress | Techdirt

Entertainment Industry Mourns The End Of 'Hollywood' Howard Berman Being Their Personal Voice In Congress | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
We noted after the election that Hollywood's absolute favorite elected official -- "Hollywood" Howard Berman -- lost his seat. He was often referred to as "the Representative from Disney" for his unwavering support of passing legislation that helped the big Hollywood studios and record labels over the public interest.

For many of us interested in the public benefit, his loss seemed like a good deal -- but, of course, for folks at the big movie studios and record labels, it was a disaster.

Just witness this unintentionally hilarious Politico piece by former MPAA exec and current Universal Music 'Executive VP of Public Policy,' Matt Gerson, which read like a love letter to Berman, where he reveals what everyone knew already: that Berman and the MPAA were apparently in constant communication, with Berman regularly being called into MPAA meetings to help.

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The WCIT Wake-Up Call: Time To Broaden the Discussion on Internet Governance | Global Voices Advocacy

The WCIT Wake-Up Call: Time To Broaden the Discussion on Internet Governance | Global Voices Advocacy | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
World leaders are meeting in Dubai this week for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), and depending on whose perspective you get, the future of the entire Internet as we know it may be at stake.

Over the past few months, a number of civil society groups have sounded the alarm bells about the potential outcomes of the conference—and with good reason, since some of the proposed revisions to the International Telecommunications Regulations, particularly those submitted by countries already known for censorship online and human rights violations, could have serious consequences on the global Internet if they are implemented.

The U.S. government has joined in, along with the leaders of several other countries, threatening to block any major changes that would expand the ITU’s authority over Internet governance. The best possible outcome for the United States is a continuation of the status quo, since US institutions and companies currently play a significant role in Internet governance.

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Eric Schmidt says Google Fiber 'isn't just an experiment,' company 'trying to decide where to expand next' | endgadget.com

Eric Schmidt says Google Fiber 'isn't just an experiment,' company 'trying to decide where to expand next' | endgadget.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is on stage at The New York Times' Dealbook conference today, and he's made a bit of news concerning the company's big broadband effort, Google Fiber. That, Schmidt says, "isn't just an experiment, it's a real business and we're trying to decide where to expand next."

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Disruptive Innovation: Bad For Some Old Businesses, Good For Everyone Else | Techdirt

Disruptive Innovation: Bad For Some Old Businesses, Good For Everyone Else | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
I recently joked that it felt like the main purpose of Kickstarter seemed to be to convince the world they wanted simplified wallets and fancy ink pens. If you don't spend much time on Kickstarter, you may have missed that those two categories seem to account for a somewhat-larger-than-expected percentage of projects that people find interesting. The wallets, in particular, fascinate me, because there are an absolutely insane number of new wallet projects, with nearly every single one claiming to have reinvented wallets. I had no idea that the wallet market was open to such disruption.

Of course, it may be open to an entirely different form of disruption. As Nick Bilton at the NYTimes recently pointed out, as his smartphone has been able to do more and more, he's beginning to think that wallets may be becoming entirely obsolete. There's almost nothing he still needs to carry on his person since nearly everything that used to be in his wallet can now be taken care of via his smartphone:

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Netflix for nerds: FORA.tv launches conference and event video subscriptions | paid content

Netflix for nerds: FORA.tv launches conference and event video subscriptions | paid content | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Do you find that your monthly Netflix streaming subscription just doesn’t include enough conference and event videos? Then you might want to check out FORA.tv’s new paid membership model, Front Row, which gives subscribers streaming access to conference and event videos from companies like The New Yorker, The Economist and 92nd Street Y for a flat fee.

The San Francisco-based FORA.tv already provides pay-per-view and free access to over 10,000 videos from such events. Video of the full 2012 New Yorker festival, for example, is $99.95 or $9.95 per session, and video of the 2012 Washington Ideas Forum is $44.95 or $2.95 per session. But the company says many members requested a subscription model.

With Front Row, subscribers can pay $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month to gain access to all the videos 60 days after they’re posted on FORA.tv. Other perks for members include audio and video downloads of certain free videos, no pre-roll ads and a 20 percent discount on content that’s less than 60 days old.

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Riddle me this, readers. What do MVPD competition and the weather have in common? | FierceIPTV

Riddle me this, readers. What do MVPD competition and the weather have in common? | FierceIPTV | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Karl Bode's appropriately cynical coverage of comments by Time Warner COO Rob Marcus caused a riddle to bubble up in my brain. Marcus, speaking at the Broadcast and Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Summit, essentially downplayed Google's 1 Gbps fiber optic system in Kansas City.


"It will be interesting to find out whether there are applications that will take advantage of a 1 Gbps service," Marcus said, according to Bode's coverage in DSL Reports. "If there is [a need for speed], we will provide it; our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today. We're prepared to compete head-to-head with Google."

In a process painfully resembling paint blistering in the hot summer sun, a riddle formed in my mind.

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Internet2 Community's New Owned Optical Infrastructure Fully Deployed | Internet2 Blog

Last week, both Internet2 and The Department of Energy’s ESnet marked a major milestone that provides our community an enormous new set of capabilities and opportunities.

The transition from the leased legacy Dedicated Wave System to the new predominantly BTOP funded dark fiber network was completed.

This transition of Internet2 community Advanced Layer 1 Services is remarkable on several fronts as it marks:

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Patent Trolls Now Make Up More Than Half Of All Patent Lawsuits | Techdirt

Patent Trolls Now Make Up More Than Half Of All Patent Lawsuits | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
The latest research by law professor Colleen Chien is getting lots of much-needed press coverage, in that it reveals we've passed the tipping point with patent trolls, as more than half of all patent lawsuits were brought by trolls.

In fact, her new report reveals that 61% of all patent lawsuits filed in the first 11 months of 2012... were from patent trolls. That's an astoundingly large number -- and one that is growing fast. The same report notes that just last year the number was 45% and five years ago it was just 23%. When does the government wake up and realize we have a serious problem on our hands?
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Yet Another Company Will Begin Taking On Netflix | Huff Post

Yet Another Company Will Begin Taking On Netflix | Huff Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
DVD kiosk operator Redbox is launching a challenge to Netflix's streaming-video supremacy.

Later this month, Redbox will offer an unlimited streaming-video plan that includes movies from Warner Bros. and pay TV channel Epix, along with four nights of physical DVD rentals, for $8 a month, or $9 a month if customers want Blu-ray discs.

The offering is a direct attack on Netflix Inc. and is priced even lower than the $10-a-month DVD and streaming plan that Netflix abandoned a year ago. The lowest price plan from Netflix that combines DVDs-by-mail and streaming is now $16 a month.

The new service, called Redbox Instant by Verizon, is "targeted squarely at movie lovers," said Shawn Strickland, the chief executive of the joint venture between Redbox parent Coinstar Inc., which is based in Bellevue, Wash., and New York-based Verizon Communications Inc.

The service won't include TV shows when it launches on an invitation-only basis before the end of the year. Video game disc rentals, which cost $2 a night, are also not included in the plan.

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ITU Goes Back On Multiple Promises: Makes Play For Internet Governance With Sneaky Surprise Vote | Techdirt

ITU Goes Back On Multiple Promises: Makes Play For Internet Governance With Sneaky Surprise Vote | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Well, well. In response to all of the earlier criticisms of the ITU, and as part of its "social media strategy" to stave off ongoing criticism, ITU officials had made a few promises leading up to the World Conference on International Communications (WCIT).

Among them: (1) changes to International Telecom Regulations (ITRs) would be done via consensus, rather than simple majority vote and (2) that the whole thing was not about internet governance. In one move, the ITU appears to have proved both of those claims to be blatantly false.

Late into the night in Dubai, as there was continuing "negotiations" over whether or not any new regulations would cover internet communications, Mohamed Nasser al Ghanim, the ITU summit's chairman, claiming he wanted to get "a feel for the room" took what initially looked like an informal vote on whether or not the ITRs would cover the internet, backing a proposal brought forth by Algeria (and backed by Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Nigeria).

After the vote showed a majority agreed to expand the ITRs to cover the internet, al Ghanim announced:

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Verizon to extend LTE to nine new northwest markets on 20 December | TeleGeography

Verizon Wireless has announced the latest markets to receive its new 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, going live in parts of Oregon and Washington state on 20 December.

The new markets being lit are Klamath Falls, Roseburg and Sutherlin (all Oregon) and Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend in Washington state.

Verizon currently claims 4G coverage of over 440 cities and 200 million Americans.
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Eric Schmidt Says Google Fiber Won't Stop With Kansas City | Wired Business | Wired.com

Eric Schmidt Says Google Fiber Won't Stop With Kansas City | Wired Business | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Kansas City is just the first stop for Google’s ultra-fast Google Fiber broadband network, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said today.

Speaking at The New York Times‘ Dealbook Conference on Wednesday, Schmidt corrected himself after initially referring to the first, and thus far only, Google Fiber network as an experiment.

“It’s actually not an experiment; we’re actually running it as a business,” Schmidt said. He described the influx of bandwidth hungry startups to the parts of Kansas City where the fiber has been laid and hinted at expansion of the service to “hopefully more cities.”

Sadly, Schmidt dodged the all-important question of where. “We’re trying to decide now,” he said.

There will be no lack of places dying to get the service, especially after Netflix just designated Google Fiber the “most consistently fast ISP in America.” The average speed in November of Netflix streaming over Google Fiber was 2.55 megabits per second. Second place was Verizon’s own fiber network at 2.19 megabits per second.

Still, just calling Google Fiber a business doesn’t mean it will be a viable one.

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Savion J Castro's curator insight, January 17, 2013 2:32 AM

Soon enough the entire country will have access to this lightning fast internet.

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More Verizon/RedBox Details Emerge - No Movies or Games, Only 'Must Watch' Films | DSLReports.com

More Verizon/RedBox Details Emerge - No Movies or Games, Only 'Must Watch' Films | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Verizon and RedBox dished some additional details on their upcoming streaming video service, though most of the information already leaked weeks ago. We already knew that the service will try to undercut Netflix in an effort to quickly drum up subscribers, offering streaming for $6 a month or streaming and four physical disk rentals for $8 a month.

Verizon again tells The Associated Press that the catalog will be skimpier than Netflix, with the justification that this is a service aimed at customers who simply want "must watch" movies:

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Facebook happy to endorse, but not use, Intel’s newest chip | GigaOM Cleantech News

Facebook happy to endorse, but not use, Intel’s newest chip | GigaOM Cleantech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Despite one of its executives appearing onstage Tuesday at Intel’s big announcement of its first system on a chip that uses the Atom processor targeted at the data center, Facebook isn’t actually planning to use that part in its data centers. According to spokesman Michael Kirkland, the latest SoC, dubbed the Atom S1200, doesn’t meet the needs of the social networking giant’s workloads at the moment, but perhaps later generation chips will.

“We are not testing Centerton. Based on how it looks on paper it doesn’t look like it meets the needs of our workloads,” said Kirkland when I asked if Facebook was testing or using the latest Intel SoC. “But we are encouraged by Intel’s general direction and we look forward to Avoton.”

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EU Opens Itself Up To Massive Innovation Hindering Patent Trolling | Techdirt

EU Opens Itself Up To Massive Innovation Hindering Patent Trolling | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Ah, Europe. After years (decades!) of arguing about it, the EU Parliament has finally approved a unitary patent system -- in which inventors will be able to file for a single patent across much of Europe. There are good reasons to want to do this, rather than having a fragmented system which required getting multiple patents in so many different places, having a single system could be a lot more efficient. But, of course, the devil is in the details and the details here are bad. There are two major concerns, both of which should have been easily avoidable because the EU can look at the absolute mess in the US. Instead, they seem to have decided to head in the exact direction of the US's mess.

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Fed Up Canadians Tell the CRTC: Stop 36 Month, Auto-Renewing Cell Phone Contracts | Stop the Cap!

Fed Up Canadians Tell the CRTC: Stop 36 Month, Auto-Renewing Cell Phone Contracts | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Think your wireless service contract ties you down?

More than 500 Canadians filed comments about their wireless service with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission as the telecom regulator wrestles with a proposed code of conduct for Canada’s wireless industry and the contracts they hand customers. Why? Because of language like this from a typical contract with Rogers Communications:

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HEALTHY APP: Tech firm sees growth with mHealth wave | MiBiz

HEALTHY APP: Tech firm sees growth with mHealth wave | MiBiz | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
As a serial entrepreneur in the tech industry, Keith Brophy has become intimately familiar with product-development processes for software, websites and apps. With his newest tech venture — an app for smartphones and tablet computers — he had to learn an entirely new product-development skill set: how clinical trials are run.

The company Brophy heads up, Ideomed Inc., has developed an app called Abriiz that will help families treat children with severe asthma. The company has completed a 31-week clinical trial in rural Georgia involving 14 children with severe asthma and is on track to finish another trial in West Michigan early next year. Ideomed is planning a third trial in 2013 that will involve 60 children with severe asthma — half will use the app and the other half will not.

Ideomed worked with the Asthma & Allergy Association of Michigan, a pediatric medicine group, and Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health on the Georgia trial, which was not required by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

That’s right: There is no regulatory approval needed for the Abriiz app, and the clinical trials are not required. Which raises the question: Why bother with all of this for a smartphone app?

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Yes, It Would Be Prohibitively Costly For Google To Offer Google Fiber Everywhere, But It Shouldn't Have To | Techdirt

Yes, It Would Be Prohibitively Costly For Google To Offer Google Fiber Everywhere, But It Shouldn't Have To | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
A bunch of folks have been sending over Business Insider's coverage of a Goldman Sachs Report concerning Google Fiber, and how much it would cost to roll it out nationwide. The estimate from BI, which is what lots of people are quoting, is that it would cost $140 billion.

Of course, even if we accept this number to be true -- even though that seems unlikely to be the case -- it seems to miss the point. Google has been pretty clear all along that the goal of the Google Fiber project was not to turn Google into a national broadband competitor, but to drive others to really up their game by showing what's possible: super cheap, super fast broadband with friendly customer service.

And, while Google shied away from its initial promise to have its network open for other services to compete, it still seems like that might be a better way to offer such a broadband. That is, rather than dumping the expense entirely on one company, imagine if it were split up among a bunch of companies (or even individuals), with a promise of openness and competition at the service level, rather than at the infrastructure level.

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MN: IT Challenges for 2013: MHTA CIO Panel | Blandin on Broadband

MN: IT Challenges for 2013: MHTA CIO Panel | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
This morning I attended the Minnesota High Tech Association CIO Panel on IT challenges for 2013. I took rough notes as each CIO spoke. There were a couple of recurring themes.

Smart IT departments are embracing mobile apps and social media. The CIOs on the panel seemed to recognize that mobile and social media are here to stay. You can embrace them or have people go around you. And there are good reasons to embrace them – mobile and social apps make people more efficient and make it easier for people to work. I did notice that most places seemed not to supply mobile devices to staff – but they worked through virtualization to support mobile devices and secure data and internal networks.

Along the same lines, folks are in the cloud. I think if for no other reason but to avoid future OS migrations. One issue has been pairing cloud computing with legacy systems.

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DailyDirt: Educating Adults | Techdirt

DailyDirt: Educating Adults | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Elite schools aren't getting any cheaper, and college tuition seems to be rising faster than a lot of other goods (though the net price may not be). So what are aspiring university students to do?

Here are just a few interesting links on the future of education.

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W.V.: OK, Who Greenlit the $24 Million for Routers Police Don’t Want, Libraries Can’t Afford | Stop the Cap!

W.V.: OK, Who Greenlit the $24 Million for Routers Police Don’t Want, Libraries Can’t Afford | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
The saga of West Virginia’s use of $126.3 million in federal stimulus funds to build better broadband is coming under increasing scrutiny this week as the state’s legislative auditor demanded to know who approved the controversial purchase of $24 million for Internet routers many institutional users say are incompatible or too costly to run.

Aaron Allred has given Homeland Security director Jimmy Gianato, administering the broadband project, until Dec. 21 to provide answers.

More than 1,000 Cisco routers valued at $22,600 each were purchased with taxpayer funds for “community anchor institutions” including schools, public safety, and library users. Why those specific routers were chosen and who approved the purchase have gone unanswered. The Charleston Gazette reports just one router model was considered — one designed for hundreds of concurrent users, despite the fact many rural libraries and other institutions maintain as few as three computer terminals. The auditor also wanted to know why they were purchased all at once, forcing the state to store them for an extended period.

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