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FCC broadband plan cost $20 million

The Federal Communications Commission spent $20 million on the year-long process of creating its national broadband plan.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) revealed that price tag in a House hearing Thursday. The FCC told him in a letter (pdf) that they spent $600,000 on printing and production, $4 million on 78 temporary full-time and part-time employees, and $340,000 on workshops and travel.

But the agency also explained that large chunks of those expenses will “go on to live beyond the plan.” It spent $8 million for a database and software that the FCC will continue to use to implement the broadband plan. And $2.4 million went to the salaries of employees who worked on the plan.

“The investment in the IT infrastructure, software and the significant amount of data will prove invaluable to the commission on an ongoing basis,” said Colin Crowell, a senior adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

He said that because the data and information technology capabilities of the agency were so poor, the FCC purchased data sets “to get the best information at hand.”

Genachowski’s March 23 letter was in response to questions Stearns had posed earlier this month, where he expressed concern that the agency wasn’t transparent enough in its process.

The plan was delayed one month, and Stearns, ranking member of the House subcommittee on technology, told the FCC that he was concerned Republican members in the commission weren’t included enough in the process.

Republican members, including Meredith Attwell Baker, said they felt they were well informed by the agency’s broadband team of its work.

The FCC paid for the creation of the national broadband plan through $13.28 million in stimulus funds and $7.34 million out of the FCC’s regular budget. The agency’s annual budget is $350 million.

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 25, 2010; 3:38 PM ET
Categories:  Broadband , FCC  
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Wow. This must be the most expensive term paper ever written.

Posted by: AmyBandini | March 25, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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