Lake County – Misleading Allegations?

The Duluth News Tribune published the latest installment of the Lake County Fiber project today. To catch you up on the saga, allegations were made that someone in Lake County heard from someone at the USDA that they might not have to repay the $56 million loan for fiber deployment. This came up twice in a recent House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

Here’s the latest take from Russ Conrow, former Lake County attorney…

Minnesota Cable Communications Association Executive Director Michael Martin, in a June 5 commentary in the News Tribune (“Taxpayers are on a $56 million hook for the Lake County fiber project”), cited “allegations that a high-ranking Rural Utilities Service official told unidentified Lake County representatives that the federal government would not seek repayment of the loan in the event of a default of the system.” These “allegations” started with Mediacom. In February 2011 Mediacom filed a complaint in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector general. The USDA reported to a congressional hearing that the inspector general investigated and found the “allegations” and other complaints of Mediacom unsupported by facts. At that same hearing, the “allegations” also came up in a direct question through the influence of the cable association. The “allegations” were denied by the Rural Utilities Service, as Martin described in his commentary.

Now the same old “allegations” by Mediacom are published locally. Repetition does not improve their validity. I was at the meeting where Mediacom claims the statements were made. They are simply not true. No Lake County representative said a high-ranking Rural Utilities Service official told Lake County the federal government would not seek repayment of the loan.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, Funding, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s