Associated Press
Monday, February 24, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Companies running Idaho’s troubled broadband education network will be paid for work completed since last year, but lawmakers haven’t decided how to handle funding for the coming year amid a contract dispute.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Monday to cover the federal government’s share of funding, about $6.6 million.

The Federal Communication Commission hasn’t paid Tennessee-based Education Networks of America and CenturyLink since last year.

That’s after a lawsuit that alleges the state awarded the contract for the Idaho Education Network illegally.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wanted $7 million more to pay the companies for additional work.

But lawmakers balked, at least so far.

Republican Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert said “that’s another battle” to be resolved later this session.

Idaho hopes eventually to be reimbursed by the FCC.

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