House Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden
(R-Ore.) has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 27 on broadband stimulus spending.
President Obama's stimulus bill included over $7 billion in
grants and loans for broadband deployment and education, overseen by the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Agriculture
Department's Rural Utilities Service.
The hearing, titled "Is the Broadband Stimulus Working?",
will try to answer that question. "More than four years have passed since
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $7 billion for broadband
grants and loans," said the committee press office. "This hearing
will review whether taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment,
examine recent allegations of waste, and discuss measures that might be taken
to avoid certain pitfalls in the future."
Walden signaled to reporters in a January briefing that the
committee would continue to look at broadband subsidies. Republicans are
particularly concerned about waste, fraud, abuse and overbuilding of existing