By B.N. Frank
Activist Post reported less than a month ago about how Google has to pay $4M to Louisville, KY to remove fiber, repair damage, and repave roads after its failed project. According to a recent article from ProPublica, Kentucky residents are on the hook for a different high-speed internet fiasco:
The state’s signature effort to catch up — an ambitious statewide broadband project known as KentuckyWired that was launched with bipartisan support five years ago — is well behind schedule and more than $100 million over budget, a joint investigation by the Courier Journal and ProPublica reveals. So far, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has offered no solution to the boondoggle he inherited.
State officials estimate that a little over one-third of KentuckyWired’s more than 3,000 miles of fiber-optic cable has been installed. The state’s private sector partners don’t give the precise location of much of that cable.
State Auditor Mike Harmon conservatively estimates that Kentucky taxpayers over the next 30 years will be on the hook for $1.5 billion — 50 times what they were originally told the project would cost them. That’s because the state quietly assumed most of the risk for this public-private partnership in the closing weeks of the previous Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration, Harmon said in his September 2018 report on the project.
Perhaps Bevin’s boldest move to dig the state out of its technological quagmire has been hiring an old Army buddy, Chuck Grindle, to advise him as the state’s IT chief at a salary of $375,000 annually, the highest-paid position of its kind in any state.
While Grindle makes clear that he does not directly supervise the stalled project, he has publicly disdained it. And his job gives him the power to direct millions in state business annually away from KentuckyWired to other vendors.
Grindle has hitched the state’s tech future to AT&T and other major tech companies, which have raised his national and international profile by featuring him as a speaker at company conventions, the Courier Journal and ProPublica found in an investigation that included dozens of interviews across Kentucky and a review of thousands of pages of documents obtained under public records laws.
Bevin has said Grindle’s stature in the tech world justifies his high salary, which stayed intact despite a legislative furor this year.
But Bevin administration officials are engaged in a high-dollar tug of war over KentuckyWired, with some officials fighting to complete the project as promised and others such as Grindle seemingly willing to let it die an expensive death.
Telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick has written many articles about boondoggles like this happening all over the U.S. Just last month, he and his organization, The IRREGULATORS, filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for their role in this.
Even scarier – fiber is being installed so that small cell technology can be attached to it. THIS IS NOT SAFE. Once the fiber is installed, Americans won’t legally be able to stop small cells from being attached to it. Regardless, fiber has been and continues to be installed all over the U.S. for 5G small cells even though Telecom Industry representatives have admitted they can provide no scientific evidence that 5G is safe.
The first 5G court case was won last year in England but it didn’t happen until after it was installed in street lamps, people became sick, and women delivered stillborn babies. Last summer 5G was installed in New York and residents reported that they were getting sick and so were their pets.
Americans everywhere are trying to stop the installation of 5G (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and elected officials are continuing to ask for proof that 5G isn’t harmful (see 1, 2, 3). Governments around the world are also ordering moratoriums on 5G because of the risks.
The U.S. Day of Action against 5G is on May 15. Consider yourself invited.
For more information, visit the following websites:
- Wireless Information Network
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- 5G Information
- Environmental Health Trust
- Generation Zapped
- In Power Movement
- Last Tree Laws
- My Street, My Choice
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Scientists for Wired Tech
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