Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced actions the State will take on recommendations and requests made by the United States Inspector General for the United States Department of Commerce as well as the recommendations made by the West Virginia Legislative Auditor on the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program ("BTOP") grant received by the State in 2010.
"It is apparent that the BTOP Grant Team, established in 2010, had noble intentions, appropriate dreams, and a good plan to unleash West Virginia's potential through the use of enhanced broadband capabilities," said Gov. Tomblin. "Many of those goals are being accomplished and many goals will be improved upon as we put in place the framework for an exciting future for West Virginia."
"The audits have raised concerns that we must address. Every West Virginian needs to know that if something needs improved, we, as public officials, will identify the issues and fix them," continued Gov. Tomblin. "We will work to make sure that the West Virginia BTOP Grant is a complete success for West Virginia."
Gov. Tomblin announced today that the State will re-analyze the deployment of routers to our Community Anchor Institutions ("CAIs") through a site analysis, to be conducted over the next thirty days. Depending on the results of the site analysis, the State will be prepared to propose options for redeployment of inappropriately placed routers and deployment of more appropriately sized routers. Both Cisco and the NTIA have indicated that they will work with the State to address router deployment issues.
In addition, the State is committed to addressing other issues identified, including executing agreements with each CAI, enhancing the State's router tracking system; and working with the Legislature on purchasing policies and procedures.
Additionally the Governor will begin a new outreach effort to all CAI's to ensure full utilization of router capability, including the creation of a Broadband Task Force to focus on developments at the CAIs and report back to the Legislature and the Governor by January 1, 2014 on all activities of CAIs.
As part of this path forward, we are pleased that Cisco has agreed, at no cost to the State, to extend the five year warranty of all routers for the next three years, to exchange or accept returns of routers that don't fit future goals of our CAIs, and to participate in a statewide task force designed to create a strategic plan for the future of broadband capabilities in West Virginia.