The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

September 16, 2013

Better Internet

Avoid new fiasco with federal grant

Guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of The Register-Herald.

West Virginia will receive a $24 million federal grant to help extend high-speed Internet access to rural areas, it was announced Friday.

Well, good. That will make up for the $24 million in grant funds wasted a couple of years ago by the state, also as part of a federal program to improve Internet access in West Virginia.

More than a year ago, it was revealed that in 2010, the state used part of a $126 million “stimulus” grant to buy 1,064 computer network routers, at $22,600 each, for public facilities such as libraries and State Police detachments.

But the routers are far more complex and expensive than most of the targeted facilities require. Many of the routers haven’t even been taken out of boxes yet.

Plans are for the new grant to extend broadband Internet access to about 40,000 homes. Let’s hope the people who made the router decision have nothing to do with spending the new grant.

— The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

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