The recent struggle in West Virginia to put federally funded Internet routers in public facilities throughout the state hasn’t slowed Frontier Communications‘ work in bringing high speed fiber optic cable in West Virginia schools, a Frontier engineer commented early this week.
Mark McKenzie, Frontier’s Engineering Manager said that Frontier did not have any role in the router issue and this problem will have no impact on Frontier’s plans of construction of fiber.
Under a federally sponsored economic stimulus package, in West Virginia Frontier has laid 121 miles of fiber to K-12 schools. More than 470 schools would get a fiber Internet connection under this scheme.
Wade Linger, state school board president remarked that the progress made has been very encouraging and that every day they are getting close.
A recent Gazette report prompted many state school board members to question the purchase of nearly 300 routers under a $24 million stimulus package two years ago but still lying unused. Each router cost $22,600.
The Gazette also stated that costly routers purchased for medical centers, colleges and large corporations were being used for schools, health care centers and libraries. Lowell Johnson, a state school board member said that they wanted to ensure that the money was used correctly.
Linger stated that the routers could be bigger than what is necessary for schools however they will still work. The routers are required by the schools to connect to Frontier’s network.
The state received a federal stimulus package of $126 million in March 2010 to bring fiber Internet connections in more than 1,000 community institutions including jails, 911 dispatch centers, county courthouses, state police detachments, libraries, schools and health care centers. In July 2010, 1,064 Cisco routers were purchased. Questions were raised regarding the size of the routers but they are being deployed at a faster rate in West Virginia as compared to other states.