Feds pull grant from Internet service company

A quasi-governmental company designed to help provide high-speed Internet service to areas of the state that don’t have it has been suspended by a federal stimulus plan that is funding it.

In letter sent Wednesday to the Broomfield-based company, Eagle-Net Alliance, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temporarily suspended the $100 million grant Eagle-Net was receiving from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Arlene Porter, NOAA’s grant management division director, said the suspension was because Eagle-Net was “in material noncompliance with the terms and conditions” of its grant award.

But the suspension, first reported by KUSA-TV in Denver, has nothing to do with recent criticism the company is building fiber-optic lines in areas of the state that already possess them.

That has been a major criticism of the company from several fronts, including the state’s congressional delegation.

Its initial mission was to provide high-speed service to every public school in the state, but it was not supposed to duplicate that service in areas that already had high-speed connectivity.

The company told the Denver television station it is working with the federal grant agency and hopes to resume construction on several lines as soon as possible.

The company already has completed several lines around the state, including on the Western Slope from Craig in the northwestern corner to Ignacio in the southwestern corner. It has plans for future development, including a direct link from Grand Junction along the Interstate 70 corridor to Denver.


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