Colorado Legislature Wants EAGLE-Net Info

EAGLE-Net Alliance continues to come under scrutiny over its
government grant to provide broadband to anchor institutions and allegationsit is overbuilding existing service.

The Colorado State General Assembly's Legislative Audit
Committee has formally asked EAGLE-Net Alliance to provide records for the
committee's review and to agree to send a representative to an Aug. 27 meeting
with the committee.

A letter from both Democratic and Republican members of the
Committee asked for the records by Aug. 15 and suggested EAGLE-Net has been
hard to pin down on a date for a meeting.

"EAGLE-Net apparently believes it can avoid efforts by the
state's Audit Committee, members of Congress and the media to seek answers to
questions about its finances and sustainability," said Rep. Angela Williams in
a statement. "The committee's letter demonstrates our unanimous and bipartisan
concern about a government entity that has spent nearly $100 million to build a
broadband network with virtually no accountability to the public."

EAGLE-Net reps did meet with the committee on Feb. 26, but
left some questions unanswered according to the letter, a copy of which was
supplied B&C by Jenny Atchley of
the Colorado Office of State Auditor.

Last month, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the House
Communications Subcommittee, alsoasked for info about EAGLE-Net as it continues to look into charges thatEAGLE-Net is using government broadband stimulus money to overbuild existing
service. EAGLE-Net has said that the grant has rules to help it avoid
overbuilding, but also says that its grant satisfies a need for access and
"redundancy," and points to the fact that its grant is for a
statewide system.

An EAGLE-Net spokesperson was not available for
comment at presstime on the Audit Committee's request.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.