Big River Broadband was given a federal loan/grant of $24MM to create a network in RURAL areas where Internet did not exist. These monies came from the 2009 Jobs Creation Act. They were also to create 1,370 jobs, to date -according to their last report, they have created 72!
This writer’s company competed against Big River Broadband in the government bidding process and can attest to the fact that the Broadband Stimulus, as our industry termed it, was to create rural broadband and jobs! This was my first interaction with the federal government and one of the reasons that I decided to run for office, as our process was so corrupt!
We were told, by Aneesh Chopra U.S. C.T.O., that our project for Southeast Missouri, was one of the best in the nation! It would have brought a technology called Fixed Wireless into our rural areas. It would have helped in expanding 911 services and it would have created REAL jobs, not smoke and mirrors.
As well, later I met with Julius Genachowski, F.C.C. chairman, that praised our effort and network design. He remarked that we had more community support than another application!
I spent several of my years lobbying, in D.C., for our Industry Association for Fixed Wireless. I also met with Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson
Today there is an article in the SEMissourian:
According to the SEMissourian:
“That will be followed by the lighting of the building at 8 p.m. when, according to the Marquette Tech District website, Jerry Howe, CEO of Big River Communications, will flip the switch that “lights up the Marquette Tower with Gigabit internet service.”
This is not sour grapes, but rather a question as to why this company has not done what they promised to do to receive all this federal funding? Where are the jobs Big River Broadband? And where is the RURAL Internet that you promised? And Governor Nixon, where is the oversight?
What is going on in our government that it is so corrupt that only the ones that can afford to Pay to Play compete for federal monies?
Here is an idea, Southeast Missouri. Because the towers that Big River Broadband built were funded by a federal grant/low-interest loan, lets use them! We can build city-wide municipal networks, where the profits and jobs stay within the community! Fixed Wireless networks are far superior than the ones that the big conglomerates build, as they are built on the Fixed Wireless technology, that so many are now clamoring for in their communities. These networks were referred to, by the F.C.C., as More bang for the Buck!
Lets bring jobs back to Southeast Missouri, rather than allowing scoundrels to profit!