Archived Story

Buggs Island grant suspended for failing to provide wireless Internet

Published 11:02am Friday, February 1, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The federal government has suspended an $18.9 million grant to a South Hill company for failing to provide wireless high-speed Internet to 15 south-central Virginia counties, including Southampton and Isle of Wight counties.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration also has asked Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative for its latest financial records and staffing plan to ensure it will provide the service, said agency spokeswoman Heather Phillips.

“We found that the grantee was not making adequate progress in meeting its milestones, in part due to technology issues it is still working out,” Phillips said.

The grant could be terminated 60 days after its Jan. 4 suspension.

Repeated phone calls to Buggs Island were unreturned.

Buggs Island was expected to launch the service on Sept. 15, but its equipment has continued to interfere with a cellular phone company’s equipment.

Buggs Island also received $3.9 million from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission for the $23 million system.

Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson had heard the grant might be suspended.

“At this point I do not have the details because I have not been in contact with the company,” Johnson said.

 

  • JOHN

    Our tax money is gone and is not comming back. 23 mil could have gone to feed a lot of people in need.

    Suggest Removal

  • bobs94

    I’ve been saying all along that their technology was garbage.

    DSL is another dated technology that requires the user to be within a certain distance of switching stations.

    Suggest Removal

    • stanleycr1

      The project was/is not DSL. It was/is WIMAX.

      Suggest Removal

      • bobs94

        I know what technology was being used. And it’s garbage.

        Suggest Removal

  • Makalani

    “Buggs Island was expected to launch the service on Sept. 15, but its equipment has continued to interfere with a cellular phone company’s equipment.”

    No one asked Buggs Island to “reinvent the wheel.” The technology for DSL signals to be transmitted compatibly alongside cellular services already exists.

    Charter — Cox — Windstream — Verizon — ATT and a myriad of other companies provide DSL service EVERYDAY without interfering with cellular services!

    Sounds like another Solyndra but on a smaller scale! Another company taking advantage of taxpayers — getting some free govt $$/corporate welfare!

    Good luck to the govt getting the $$ back!

    Suggest Removal

  • zuni1

    Oh, well. More of our tax money down the drain. I was afraid this was going to happen. Would not be surprised if the money was embezzled. Tried to call them late last year to see when they would be offering service. The poeple answering the phones were clueless. I had been waiting for this service to come online, but I think I will go with HughesNet now.

    Suggest Removal

  • John VanChocStraw

    With a name like Buggs Island, how can you go wrong? It’s more like Bugs Bunny.

    Suggest Removal

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