The state of Wisconsin is returning to the federal government $23 million in broadband stimulus funds.
The money was going to be devoted to expanding the state network, called BadgerNet, with optical fiber. BadgerNet links schools, libraries and state offices.
State representatives explain the difficulty in meeting certain provisions of the grant, but the decision may have been more a political than a business decision, according to the reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The state leases its connectivity from AT&T, with which it has a five-year contract. The broadband stimulus grant stipulated that new network resources be used for 20 years. AT&T refused to comply, according to the Journal Sentinel, which noted that AT&T and its employees were big contributors to the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker.