Broadband Program Criticized for Inappropriate Uses

The aim of the $4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, part of the Obama administration’s 2009 economic stimulus effort, is to extend high-speed Internet access to parts of the country that had little or none of it because private companies said it was too expensive to build. But local phone companies have complained about waste or unfair competition, like using some of the grants to build fiber networks where they already exist rather than where they are most needed, in rural mountain towns.