Idaho has repaid the Federal Communications Commission $3.5 million as part of a settlement with the federal agency over claims that the state misused more than $14 million by putting it toward an illegally awarded contract.
Lawmakers approved the program to bring broadband internet access to all of Idaho’s schools nearly a decade ago. But the project was beset with problems from the start. The final tally for the project and the legal fallout is likely in the $40 million range.
As the program fell apart, school districts scrambled to arrange their own local internet service. Many were able to arrange for broadband at prices far cheaper than what the state was paying.
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2017 edition of Education Week as Idaho Pays $3.5 Million to Settle FCC School Broadband Claims