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West Virginia Buries Study on How They Screwed up Broadband
Didn't Want to 'Embarrass' Anyone Further
by Karl Bode 10:09AM Wednesday Mar 20 2013
West Virginia is one of the worst connected states in the nation, something that was supposed to be helped by a $126.3-million federal stimulus grant intended to improve state broadband. Instead, as a series of excellent reports in the Charleston Gazette have illustrated over the past year, state leaders doled out most of that money to Verizon, Cisco and Fairpoint, who convinced corrupt and/or incompetent state officials to spend it on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and several ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything.

Gazette reporter Eric Eyre has done a great job digging through the state's incompetence and/or corruption, triggering a state investigation. One resulting audit (pdf) found that Cisco and Verizon made out like bandits due to dysfunctional and/or corrupt state lawmakers blocking anybody else from bidding on services. More recently, the state paid another outside consultant $118,000 to review what the state did wrong. Eyre filed a FOIA request, but the state says they won't release the findings because they could be "embarrassing":
quote:
"The documents may be embarrassing to some people . . . . Embarrassing because it was someone's opinion," Burdette said. "It was a specific document, citing specific companies, and making very specific suggestions to me." "It was part of a discussion. It did not result in an end product," Burdette said. "There's some criticism of the players in there that I don't accept."..."There's not a word in there about the actions of the administration," Burdette said. "It's not about exposing anything we did."
If the government themselves isn't worried about being embarrassed (any further), they're likely worried about their campaign-contributing partners in the cock up: Cisco, Verizon and Frontier Communications. Instead of fixing the problems highlighted by the consultant, State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette decided to ignore the report because he "didn't agree with their assessment." This comes as neither Frontier or the state are willing to tell anyone where Frontier lines funded by taxpayer money have actually been laid.

The major takeaway from this? If you want consulting work tied to phantom budgets with no spending accountability and a delicious layer of dubious ethics, West Virginia is the place to go.

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Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

In Dream Land

The corrupt politicians are fired or jailed.

Verizon gets to actually deploy a network or they don't receive anymore federal funds.

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

Didn't think it was legal...

To refuse a FOIA request because of embarrasment.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

Re: Didn't think it was legal...

It isn't, but there isn't any kind of penalty if the state loses in court other than having to release the report. So they really lose nothing by stonewalling.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by ropeguru:

To refuse a FOIA request because of embarrasment.

Gov't can refuse any FOIA request. If you don't like their decision, you have to go to the courts to force the issue. 2 yrs later, maybe you get the info.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

And this is exactly why sites like Wikileaks are valuable

Situations like this are exactly why we need sites like Wikileaks. Can the state find some sort of legal cover to keep this report secret? Possibly, especially since governments usually get to write the laws they're regulated under. Should they be able to hide it? Not if what they're trying to do is protect someone from embarrassment. If you screwed up, or worse, did something illegal, you deserve to be exposed. And sometimes, the only way to accomplish that is for someone to leak the documents to the public.

And in case anyone says that, no, all we need are for people to leak these documents to the media, sure, that'd be fine, provided the news media would DO ITS FUCKING JOB and actually report on things other than which celebrities went into rehab last week. When the BBC broke the story last week that it's been discovered that Richard Nixon sabotaged negotiations to end the Vietnam War so he could win the 1968 election, and not one of the big media outlets here mentioned it, that's a pretty good sign that the press isn't doing its job and someone else has to.

mr sean
Professional Infidel
Premium,ExMod 2001-07
join:2001-04-03
N. Absentia
kudos:1

Re: And this is exactly why sites like Wikileaks are valuable

While I agree with your sentiments, it should be noted that the New York Times and ABC both did in-depth work on then-candidate Nixons interference after then-President Johnson's White House tapes were declassified in 2008. But, as the Daily Kos notes, the untold story was that the Johnson administration actually squashed that story being run by the Christian Science Monitor in 1968.

Just sayin...
--
How you can make the world a Better Place
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit

Dupe post

Dupe post. Sorry.

diablo1892
Plough, sew, water, harvest. Repeat.

join:2011-04-21
Friendly, WV

Like I said before..

We got HughesNet available here and a couple other providers by satellite and thats better than having no provider available at all.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Re: Like I said before..

said by diablo1892:

We got HughesNet available here and a couple other providers by satellite and thats better than having no provider available at all.

There is a place for satellite internet, but for ever day home use, it is not.. Especially if your not in an actual "remote" area....

diablo1892
Plough, sew, water, harvest. Repeat.

join:2011-04-21
Friendly, WV
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·HughesNet Satell..

Re: Like I said before..

said by decifal:

There is a place for satellite internet, but for ever day home use, it is not.. Especially if your not in an actual "remote" area....

correct.. It depends on how much download limit you have left, if the NOC is even active or doing maintenance repairs and those can take a stressful long a$$ time, bad weather at one of the ends so connection cannot be made, or if the servers are backed up with congestion.

So there's all kinds of things bad that can go wrong
--
HT1000/ BeamID 32/ Power Max plan/ 4 pcs on a D-Link wired switch/ wireless D-Link router with password
Support only the gaming company's that matter the most, pay for something that actually is worth buying
or has a good reason for how much it's worth.
kem09030

join:2004-11-29
Rushville, IL

Fairpoint or Frontier

I noticed this: Verizon, Cisco and Fairpoint, who convinced corrupt and/or incompetent state officials to spend it on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and several ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything.

Then this:
If the government themselves isn't worried about being embarrassed (any further), they're likely worried about their campaign-contributing partners in the cock up: Cisco, Verizon and Frontier Communications.

Should it be Frontier instead of Fairpoint in the first list?

XANAVirus
Premium
join:2012-03-03
Lavalette, WV
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·AT&T Wireless Br..
·Suddenlink

I live in this state!

Being a resident of this fine state, I'm deeply embarrassed by my politicians acting in a face-saving manner.
These people care more for their reputations than actually solving problems or allowing people to point out flaws.

While they are human, they should not allow their egos or reputations to get in the way of responsible disclosure.

This, I am not happy about this - they should not have refused the request.
This is exactly why we have freedom of information acts in the first place, to guard against government protection of shady, illegal and/or reputation-damaging material.

When the government can refuse request for a 'reason' like this, it shows FOIA acts and requests are merely a smokescreen designed to make us *feel* like we have transparency of government.
dsless

join:2001-05-16
Pittsburgh, PA

Re: I live in this state!

WV has been embarrassing it's self for years.

ps Our family had a farm in Lavalette for years.
dagg

join:2001-03-25
Galt, CA

west virginia?

The major takeaway from this? If you want consulting work tied to phantom budgets with no spending accountability and a delicious layer of dubious ethics, West Virginia is the place to go.

i call B.S. on this statement.
it can be done in just about ANY state these days.

Tweakbl

join:2008-09-25
Rosedale, WV
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..

I live in Rosedale West Virginia.

366 x $22,600 = $8,271,600
There is the correct figure as to how much the State of West (Fail) Virginia has squandered on stupid stuff, when we do not even have the Backbone made of Fiber to run the crap on.

I have lived here all my Life and for the life of me cannot figure out where we get stupid politicians at.
We do not even have a Fiber Backbone to run this type of Hardware on let alone the justification to go buy that many of those.
It was estimated in the one article that 100 Plus Miles of Fiber could have been ran for $5 Million.
»arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013···-router/
Expand your moderator at work

nivlac

join:2010-02-26
Atlanta, GA

Re: I live in Rosedale West Virginia.

It's been a while, but I recall that several years back the state ran fiber optic cable in the US 119 right of way from one end to the other and I think even in the interstate system. The purpose was to provide a backbone to improve the state's system. But perhaps it was for government use only. Then again, maybe they were going to but never did.
--
I started with nothing, and have most of it left.

Tweakbl

join:2008-09-25
Rosedale, WV

Re: I live in Rosedale West Virginia.

It is a last mile effort not a middle mile solution.
West Virginia has no Backbone, The nearest runs thru Maryland.
jdmm72

join:2002-02-12
Nitro, WV
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Re: I live in Rosedale West Virginia.

That is not correct. We have a major backbone through the Clarksburg area, pretty much the majority of the east-west US connection. That is why the FBI fingerprint center, NASA and DoE are all located precisely there.

I do agree that there is a lot of corruption. And that the "broadband" fund was fraudulently misused, but welcome to WV. I actually did research on the fund in college, including many of their plans. A lot of the plans relied on cellular technologies.

What they ended up spending the money on, was huge overpriced Cisco routers for schools, firestations and libraries. They didn't extend broadband, they "attempted" to create internet cafes in public buildings, which wasn't the design goals.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Government is as Government does...

Please, can we let the people keep their hard-earned money, and decide for themselves what best to do with it?

Tweakbl

join:2008-09-25
Rosedale, WV
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..

Here is useful Links to WV Broadband and Maps

Jim Martin is spearheading the effort to drive home the effort for Middle Mile Broadband (Which will utilize a Main Backbone in the State) He is into a lot of Regional and District over seeing, including my Region, Region VII. »www.regionvii.com/

He is also Owner of Citynet, which is a Third Party ISP provider. In his unique situation, he has something to loose and to gain. With the money that is being Flushed away in the form of Stimulus Funds.

Here is a link to Jim's site and West Virginia Broadband.
»www.westvirginia.com/broadband/maps.cfm
This link shows the major trunks/Backbone's closest to the State of West Virginia. Jim is a Big supporter of a Backbone in the State. As you can see on Jim's Site, a Backbone does NOT exist in WVa.

I recently was in contact with Bob Jacobus at Region 7. He is trying to get a coverage map in Region 7 to be accurate.
»www.regionvii.com/
If your in Region VII and a DSLReport user, take the survey they have up on main page.

The info Region VII is collecting then goes to the West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council
»www.broadband.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Which also reflect the data over to the National Broadband Map
»www.broadbandmap.gov/technology

former cityn

@uhcwv.org

Re: Here is useful Links to WV Broadband and Maps

I used to work for Jim years ago, I think he is one of the few that really care about getting broadband in the state. Sure he cares about making money as well, but having worked along side him, I think he has the right ideas.

dbeatson
Premium
join:2001-02-22
Clover, SC

Cock Up?

""they're likely worried about their campaign-contributing partners in the cock up: Cisco, Verizon and Frontier Communications""

Cock up? LOL
--
»www.w4lny.com

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Nice to see W. Va. AHEAD of the curve...

Corruption, graft, thieving and scamming your way through life is what the New Amerika is all about, from top to bottom. No one wants to give an honest days work for an honest days pay anymore, and no one is willing to pay an honest days pay either. It's all about greed... No wonder we're racing the Tidy Bowl Man to the bottom... and WINNING!! W. Va. is just a little AHEAD of everyone else, so what's the big deal? Do you really think that any other Government entity anywhere else acts differently? They're just not as blatant.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence