Broadband Stimulus = B.S.?

 

 

 

Texas-based TierOne Networks is getting the wrong kind of attention. After being awarded $19 million in broadband stimulus funds, news of their SEC violations surfaced and the USDA yanked the money back, via Stimulating Broadband

The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday awarded $19 million in broadband stimulus funds to a Texas wireless firm that has been charged with multiple securities violations in 3 jurisdictions over the past 3 years.

In the most recent case the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the firm, TierOne Converged Networks, Inc., in US District Court in Dallas with violations of federal securities law.  State securities regulators in Colorado and Texas issued cease and desist orders against the company in 2009 and 2008.

The SEC filed charges against TierOne alleged “material misrepresentation” in the raising of “almost $9.5 million from approximately 200 investors in 34 states through a continuous unregistered offering of securities.”   The initial SEC complaint was filed on April 27 against the firm, a wireless Internet service provider (WISP).  In a settled complaint action, filed with the court 3 days later, TierOne agreed to stop the practices alleged by the agency, without admitting to or denying the veracity of the charges. 

I wonder how many other questionable funding deals are out there. TierOne calls itself a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider), but I don’t see any satcom as part of the solution.

You’re doing it wrong. Look at the recent news on two deals in southwest Virginia, where they’re going to a couple of old timer telecoms, via Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Two projects in southwestern Virginia will receive federal stimulus funding to provide high-speed Internet access in rural areas.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide a $7.45 million loan and a $17.4 million grant to the Scott County Telephone Cooperative. The funding will be used to provide broadband service to about 12,000 residents, 80 businesses and 16 community institutions.

A $6.06 million loan and a $14.16 million grant will go to the Lenowisco Planning District Commission to build a fiber-optic network. Vilsack says the network will provide broadband access to more than 42,000 residents, an estimated 1,550 businesses and 100 community institutions.

 

Scott County Telephone Coop gets their video programming via satellite, so that’s cool. Although it looks like they’ll be laying down some fiber to get ‘er done.

 

 

 

The August Broadband Stimulus award announcements also included satcom

  • Hughes Network Systems received $59 million to offer satellite broadband service to rural residential and commercial subscribers nationwide. Approximately 258,685 people stand to benefit, as do 3,200 businesses.
  • WildBlue Communications was awarded $20 million to offer satellite broadband service in the West and Midwest United States. Approximately 110,150 people stand to benefit, as do roughly 4,896 businesses.
  • Spacenet received an $8 million award to offer satellite broadband service to rural residential subscribers in Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Echostar was awarded $14 million award to offer satellite broadband service to rural residential and commercial subscribers. The funds will provide service to 42,478 people and 1,888 businesses.

Hope the satcom players keep it clean — and book some business.

 

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