Genachowski: FCC Spent $20.6 Million on National Broadband Plan - Broadcasting & Cable

Genachowski: FCC Spent $20.6 Million on National Broadband Plan

Greatest portion of costs went to salaries
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The FCC spent $20.62 million to produce the national
broadband plan, according to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a letter to
House Communications & Internet Subcommittee ranking member Cliff Stearns
(R-Fla.).

Of that, $6.38 million went to salaries--$2.38 million for
broadband work by somewhere north of 300 existing employees and another $4
million for new, temporary employees.

The rest of the money went to IT ($5.37 million); software
and "cost modeling" ($3.92 million); data and research ($4.01
million); workshops and travel ($34,000); and printing and production
($60,000).

Stearns thanked the chairman for his response during a
broadband oversight hearing Thursday (March 25) but suggested that $20 million
had been spent to tell him something he knew already--the success of the
private sector in getting broadband to 95% of the country.

Genachowksi was responding to a letter from Stearns asking
for details of the plan's staffing and expenses. He asked how the hiring of
people from the communications industry squared with the administration's
policy "to limit the hiring of, or communication with private sector
employees in connection with government generally and the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act in particular."

The chairman said that the "unprecedented scope"
of the broadband plan undertaking required expertise "not readily
available in the government." But he also pointed out that senior members
of the broadband team were vetted by an ethics official from the FCC's office
of general counsel and those with either potential conflicts or appearance of
conflict were not hired.

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