My colleague Adam Thierer points me to this piece in the West Virginia Gazette about how the state “paid $22,600 each for 1,064 Internet routers that go largely unused in public schools and libraries.” As Thierer wrote:
They did it with money they received from the federal stimulus money dedicated to building out broadband networks. (Keep in mind, you can get decent routers these days for a couple hundred bucks that could handle most small schools and libraries just fine).
But then here is the worst part. For the last two years, these routers have sat unused:
Nearly two years after state officials used federal stimulus money to buy $24 million worth of Internet routers, 366 of the devices remain boxed up at storage sites in West Virginia.
State officials purchased the routers in July 2010 with plans to distribute the equipment to county courthouses, schools, jails, libraries and health-care clinics as part of $126 million high-speed Internet expansion project funded by the federal economic stimulus.
But more than half of the stored routers — 186 — currently don’t have designated places to put them. What’s more, the 366 boxed-up routers came with a five-year service warranty, so the state has already lost two years of free maintenance on the equipment.
More stimulus anyone?