Was this a loan or a grant?
Just curious. If Earthlink ever starts claiming "it's their network", this will be important. If it's a grant, we'll be able to remind them who paid for it.
On the plus side, I think it's great they are getting it done. My hope is that this was a low or no-interest loan and they have to pay it back.
I am pretty sure it was a grant. But even so, it is good to see that the money wasn't wasted. A lot of the money given out for internet access as part of ARRA appears to have been wasted.
I'd be cautious about claiming it wasn't wasted. It probably still depends on what they do with the 500 miles of fiber. If they only manage to serve 100 customers after all is said and done, that just cost tax payers $94,000/customer!
I do agree, though, that there are much worse things we could have funded such as building more libraries. IMO, the Internet is the library.