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Like many state and local jurisdictions in the US, the State of West Virginia applied for and received a Federal stimulus grant under the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).   West Virginia squandered much of the money on equipment and services that will not provide a reasonable benefit for the expenditure.

The State purchased 1,164 Cisco model 3945 routers when smaller, less expensive routers would have been appropriate for most locations. According to Cisco’s own literature, the expensive model 3945 was not an appropriate choice.  The decision to spend federal funds on oversized routers resulted in millions of dollars in federal grant money not being spent on better alternatives.

Additionally, the State Office of Technology used a purchasing process which is unauthorized by West Virginia statute to purchase Cisco equipment valued at $24 million on behalf of the BTOP grant program. The Office of Technology used a “secondary bid process” on an existing contract instead of a competitive bid process, open to non-Cisco vendors, as required by law.