Broadband Stimulus Light Reading
If you don't read the entire document make sure you see the pictures at the end. :o
The State purchased 1,164 Cisco model 3945 routers when smaller, less expensive routers would have been appropriate for most locations. According to Cisco’s own literature, the expensive model 3945 was not an appropriate choice. The decision to spend federal funds on oversized routers resulted in millions of dollars in federal grant money not being spent on better alternatives.
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The response from Cisco and WV was pretty good: http://www.businessinsider.com/cisco-to-refund-routers-to-west-virginia-2013-3
Fortunately, Cisco has promised to step up and correct the mess.
Here's the story: auditors in West Virginia released a scathing report that basically accused Cisco of swindling the state into buying millions of dollars of high-end routers that it didn't need. (Blogger Brad Reese posted the full report here.)
As part of a Federal grant to bring high-speed Internet to public buildings in the state, Cisco sold West Virginia 1,164 high-end Cisco routers, costing over $22,00 each.
Auditors said that many sites would have been fine with smaller routers, costing less than $1,000 each. All told, the state says it overpaid by nearly $8 million dollars for the hardware. Plus, Cisco sold the state another $6.6 million worth of extra services.
Cisco offered a reasonable explanation. It recommended these expensive routers because state officials wanted features that its low-end routers didn't have, such as dual-power supplies.
The auditors blamed both Cisco and the state employees who signed the contract. They also said Cisco's actions may even be "grounds for debarment," meaning being banned from future state contracts.
The good news is that Cisco has promised to let West Virginia return the routers it can't use.
On Cisco's part, it's all about damage control now. Not just there but nationwide everyone will be watching this.
I read quickly through that entire document that the state auditor put out and didn't see a final answer on whether they ever found any proof that the state actually wanted dual power supplies… Sounds like a fox guarding the hen-house scenario to me. That includes state employees as well as Cisco reps.
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Looks like things are staying interesting…
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration won't release the consultant's findings to the public.
The reason: At least one of the consultant's documents might be "embarrassing to some people," according to Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette.
And another commentary with some added opinions: