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Federal Government Holding Back Money from Idaho Communications Deal

Ingram Publishing

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The federal government has blocked millions in funding to Idaho’s education broadband system because a lawsuit over the project’s $60 million contract raised questions about who should get the cash.

The Federal Communications Commission is withholding $7 million for the Idaho Education Network, a high-speed broadband network for Idaho high schools. Idaho lawmakers learned yesterday telecom giant CenturyLink and Education Networks of America haven’t been paid by the federal government since last March.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is asking legislators to provide “temporary bridge funding” to pay CenturyLink and other contractors on the project. In the suit, Idaho-based telecom provider Syringa Networks accuses the state of inappropriately awarding the contract to its rivals.

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