• Barton, Stearns Query Agencies on Oversight of Broadband Stimulus Funds
  • April 15, 2009 | Authors: Jennifer L. Richter; Jennifer A. Cetta; Carly T. Didden
  • Law Firm: Patton Boggs LLP - Washington Office
  • Minority leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter this week to NTIA, RUS and FCC officials seeking answers to questions about how the broadband stimulus monies will be spent and monitored to prevent government waste.

    Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, posed six questions to agency officials:

    • Shouldn’t stimulus funds be prioritized for projects in states where broadband mapping has been completed and allocated based upon information gathered?
    • Shouldn’t unserved areas be prioritized over underserved areas?
    • If funds are allocated to underserved areas, shouldn’t they be directed to stimulating demand rather than stimulating supply?
    • Shouldn’t criteria for stimulus funds be technologically and competitively neutral?
    • Shouldn’t the allocation of stimulus funds include criteria based on sustainability of a project without additional government funding?
    • In order to fund the most cost-effective projects, shouldn’t fund allocation be based on competitive criteria, so that projects that have the most impact for the least amount of taxpayer dollars are funded before less efficient projects?

    Responses to the questions are due by March 31st.