Feds Asked To Stop Internet Scheme That Competes With Colorado Businesses

The subsidized program threatens to kill local companies


Four Colorado congressmen have asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to stop a federal program to bring high-speed internet access to the state's rural schools, saying the project wastes taxpayer dollars by duplicating service and poaching customers from the private sector.

In a two-page letter this week to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton say expansion of Colorado's EAGLE-Net Alliance — funded by a $100 million federal stimulus grant — must be stopped until the Commerce Department "fundamentally reassesses" its mission. Calling EAGLE-Net's track record "extremely troubling," the congressmen also want the department, which awarded Broomfield-based EAGLE-Net the grant, to address several concerns raised by small, rural telecommunications providers that say EAGLE-Net is using its federal bankroll to plow them under.