The bizarre story
of Connected Nation continues. While the telco-backed broadband mapping organization that politicians all seem gaga over has been able to sweep politicians in Minnesota
off their feet, despite dubious qualifications and/or reviews, Connected Nation has apparently decided to bail out on bidding for the broadband mapping opportunity in Kentucky
. This is significant, because Connected Nation is from
Kentucky. It was originally Connect Kentucky, and it was the group's supposed "success" in mapping broadband deployments in Kentucky that led to the formation of Connected Nation. In other words, not only does Connected Nation actually have experience
in Kentucky (unlike those other states), it should already have the maps
. And yet it's suddenly claiming that it can't meet the deadlines laid out in the proposal? Art Brodsky questions the claim:
Is the deadline issue what chased Connected Nation out of Kentucky? Perhaps. There may be other factors at play, including that the Commonwealth wanted the vendor to work with all providers, and two of those significant sectors -- cable and municipals -- are not happy with the telephone-dominated nature of Connected Nation. It's also worth noting that the Kentucky state government, aware of the criticism of Connect Kentucky's efforts, was planning a very strict follow-up procedure for the stimulus mapping program. The Request for Proposals mentioned there would be a third-party verification of "any and all data at any location." That condition would seem to conflict with the general Connect philosophy of controlling access to the information. But we digress.
Given all this, it's worth asking: does the state of Kentucky have the broadband mapping data that Connect Kentucky did for it earlier? Can it give that data to other providers? Or must those providers start from scratch as Connect Kentucky takes its data and goes home?