Subsidies

Feds Asked To Stop Internet Scheme That Competes With Colorado Businesses

The subsidized program threatens to kill local companies

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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.