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West Virginia Buys $22K Routers With Stimulus, Puts Them In Small Schools

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.

Government 295

DesScorp writes "The Charleston Gazette is reporting that the state of West Virginia has purchased hundred of enterprise class routers from Cisco at over $22,000 dollars apiece via federal stimulus money. The stimulus cash was intended to spread broadband coverage. The problem is that the routers are overkill, and are being placed in small schools and libraries with just a handful of users. The West Virginia Office of Technology warned that the purchase was 'grossly oversized' for the intended uses, but the purchase went through anyway. Curiously, the project is being headed up not by the state's usual authorities on such matters, but by Jimmy Gianato, West Virginia's Homeland Security Chief. In addition to the $24 million contract signed with Verizon Network Integration to provide the routers and maintenance, Gianato asked for additional equipment and services that tacked an additional $2.26 million to the bill. Perhaps the worst part is that hundreds of the routers are sitting in their boxes, unused, two years after the purchase."

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How the money could better have been spent (5, Informative)

John.Banister (1291556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971779)

I've been visiting with my parents here in WV and saw that story in the local paper a few days ago. I have to believe that someone had a buddy getting a commission, because that's how it generally goes here. I remember seeing this map [westvirginia.com] a couple weeks before and can't help but think it'd be a better option for spreading broadband.

Re:How the money could better have been spent (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972031)

this map [westvirginia.com]

Looks like the meme of the Internet routing around damage is alive and well.

Re:How the money could better have been spent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972133)

that's funny, there's no lack of wincest on /b/
oops, did I say that out loud?

Re:How the money could better have been spent (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972103)

Why not just mandate that all telephone companies MUST offer DSL to any customer that asks (in the same way government mandates companies must provide phone service). Instant broadband coverage to everybody who wants it.

Re:How the money could better have been spent (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972155)

Because then people scream 'communism' and rewrite history to pretend that the regulation that resulted in everyone having phone access didn't work and didn't provide a massive economic boost to the country.

Though it would be far form 'instant', a massive amount of infrastructure needs to be built, but there is a game theory element to it where telcos are generally hoping one of their competitors makes the investment instead.

Re:How the money could better have been spent (4, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972425)

In that case, I want my 'universal access' fees back.

Re:How the money could better have been spent (5, Informative)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972629)

You have to be kidding. Letting luddite politicians control industries they don't understand is bad for a whole lot of reasons. You, obviously, do not understand DSL.

When a company makes a product or service available for some people and not others, there's usually a good reason. With DSL, it all has to do with the costs of adding new infrastructure.

Unlike basic phone lines, DSL performance is extremely sensitive to the distance from the CO [dslreports.com] .

If the phone company is going to charge me $1000/yr for DSL, and place a new CO just for me, then they better be able to get several hundred others in my neighborhood to also get service from the same CO. There's no way that my $1000/yr will pay for it.

If a mandate went in that all companies had to provide DSL to all possible customers, I guarantee there are some people who would be told that their service would costs thousands per month, because of their location. Now, you may think that this is easy to solve, by just price-fixing the cost also. If feel this way, then you should consider voting for Jimmy Carter this year.

Re:How the money could better have been spent (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972497)

Because as soon as you get 18000 feet from the CO, you hit a loading coil, which kills DSL. Your mandate would require installing (and powering) DSLAMs essentially within 3 miles of any customer. Plus the back haul routers, power feeds, and other ancillary gear. Add it up, spread it around, you'd blow through the money spent on those WV routers pretty quick.

Which is not to say WV got the right routers for its needs. The 3945 ISR is an enterprise class machine, with capabilities to do things the WV libraries would never need. Cisco makes a number of SOHO routers that would have been perfect for what WV wanted for a lot less. (And in the article in Ars Technica, a Cisco sales rep essentially said so. That article said it was a reseller - Verizon Network Integration - who sold WV these routers, not Cisco themselves.)

Re:How the money could better have been spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972543)

DSL != Broadband

WVa needs tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971797)

Growing up in WVa, I can tell you it needs all the tech it can get.

Re:WVa needs tech (2)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972363)

I haven't spent much time there, but would have to agree with this one. What puzzles me is not that WV has fucked something up, but that they had so much money to spend. Poor, poor WV.

That hurts my stomach a little... (1, Funny)

randombilly (1082811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971805)

Wow! Thats an enormous waste of money! They make $22,000 routers? What could they possibly do that like an Airport Extreme can't? heh.

they got them with mark up and car like add ones (4, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971909)

The routers alone cost the state $7,800 each, but "add-ons" -- additional equipment that came with the devices -- boosted the price tag by $14,800.

"It's like buying a car," Gianato said. "You get a lot of options with the car."

An online Cisco retailer was selling new 3945 series routers for $5,800 last week. The routers have a list price of $13,000 each.

Cisco was the lower of two bidders for the $24 million router sale. Hebron, Ky.-based Pomeroy bid $24.8 million for the 1,064 Cisco routers.

State officials requested that the devices include a "T1 interface card" that would allow schools, libraries and other sites to use the high-capacity routers with their existing copper-wire T1 broadband connections -- while waiting to hook up to fiber optic cable.

The adapter cards added $1.08 million to the purchase price.

Re:they got them with mark up and car like add one (2)

CanoeCrasher (980160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972185)

That's a lot of expansion modules - those could be switches, WAN accelerators, ESX servers... all sorts of things.

There's cost savings in management when you put services in the router instead of separate boxes. Plus, then you don't buy separate boxes, too.

(I work for Cisco, if that matters)

CC

Re:they got them with mark up and car like add one (2, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972645)

All certainly true. However, small libraries don't need all of that functionality. They could probably get by with a WRT56. It's only a cost savings if you need the functions in the first place.

And I don't even think that the argument that all of the routers should be the same makes any sense. When you have libraries ranging from one room to a five story building, there isn't going to be a one size fits all.

I'd perhaps go for a single vendor solution, but not a single device.

Re:they got them with mark up and car like add one (1)

Lorens (597774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972257)

State officials requested that the devices include a "T1 interface card" that would allow schools, libraries and other sites to use the high-capacity routers with their existing copper-wire T1 broadband connections -- while waiting to hook up to fiber optic cable.

The adapter cards added $1.08 million to the purchase price.

Instead of, say, keeping the old routers, and buying a Cisco 1800 for less than $1000? There HAS to be a illegal commission somewhere in there... $22 million stupid?

Re:they got them with mark up and car like add one (5, Informative)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972657)

He sounds like he just doesn't understand how this works, He seems to think a $22,000 router would somehow faster or better than a $500 router even if only 4 people are connected to for basic web browsing. FTA: Gianato said putting the same size router in every school was about "equal opportunity." "We wanted to make sure a student in McDowell County had the same opportunities as a student in Kanawha County or anywhere else," he said. "A student in a school of 200 students should have the same opportunity as a student in a school with 2,000 students."

Re:they got them with mark up and car like add one (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972457)

Cisco maybe expensive but they are reliable. We changed our switches and routers with Cisco and have had zero problems since. You get what you pay for.

Re:they got them with mark up and car like add one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972695)

Cisco maybe expensive but they are reliable. We changed our switches and routers with Cisco and have had zero problems since. You get what you pay for.

I agree with you. I changed my broken router for a $50 WRT54GL with Tomato years ago, and I haven't had any problems since either. I'm glad I didn't skimp on the cost and buy some $30 crap.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971953)

Wow, you apparently don't know much about professional networking and IT. They make multi-million dollar routers and they weigh about a ton and a half (literally) and stand over 7 feet tall. They do a lot more than your airport extreme.

Now that being said, I'm guessing these are ASR 1000 routers in this price range which puts them very much into the overkill. A Cisco 2911 or even 1941 router would work in most of the applications. Then get one ASR for aggregation.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972461)

I'm pretty sure he meant WiFi routers, not core routers.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971973)

Honestly, $22K isn't that bad for a decent edge router. It looks to me like a Cisco 7603, so with a service contract, that's not really that bad of a deal. If they wanted to standardize on Cisco/Juniper/Brand X equipment though, you are very much right that this is definitely overkill. A simple ASA 5505 or a 800 Series Cisco would of been much better to use and costs about $1K with allot of bells and whistles.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972367)

That's what I'm thinking, I didn't know Cisco had routers with service for that low of a price. If they got that with with installation and configuration included that is even better.

I think we just dropped 30k+ for two 3750 switches because we needed POE.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (2)

pLnCrZy (583109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972669)

Wow, I'll bet whoever you buy your Cisco gear from loves you.

Next time you're out shopping, stop by Best Buy and pick up some $400 HDMI cables and a few extended warranties.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (1)

Lorens (597774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972503)

Honestly, $22K isn't that bad for a decent edge router. It looks to me like a Cisco 7603, so with a service contract, that's not really that bad of a deal.

Article says Cisco 3945, which at least is marketed as a client-side router. If they're supposed to go to Gbps fiber, a case could be made. It would be full of holes, of course.

Incidentally, searching for cisco 3945 on the net gives https://supportforums.cisco.com/thread/2146460 [cisco.com] which seems to be the reporter behind TFA looking for background.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971989)

cisco will sell you as expensive router as you're willing to pay for. there's no upper limit.

of course those routers do actually nothing for spreading broadband coverage.. washington should slap them for misusing the funds.

"Looking at how technology evolves, we wanted something that was scalable, expandable and viable, five to 10 years out. We wanted to make sure every place had the same opportunity across the state." - fucking dimwits. 22k in it equipment budget spread over 10 years would have done wonders to some libraries and schools. buying 22k routers without immediate use for them -if one actually had looked at how technology evolves- is stupid.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (0)

Krojack (575051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972041)

Buying Airport Extremes would have tacked on another $1 million for the lot just because they have the Apple logo on them.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972181)

(even though I know you're not serious, I'll still answer the question)
1. capacity - route more packets. switch more MAC addresses. hold larger routing tables. gigabit and 10-gigabit
2. reliability - your airport extreme is not even six-9's, nor can it support any sort of hot failure.
3. expandability - add different short distance and long distance fibre interfaces though GBIC. (10GBASE-SR/LR/LX4/ER/etc)
4. administration - support routing and configuration protocols. support self-healing networks.

In terms of the school's actual need. an Linksys/D-Link/Airport Extreme/etc is probably sufficient. Although for IT friendly and flexible a RouterBoard is pretty good and not much more expensive (around $300 for one with a lot of gigabit ports or with good WiFi antennas and outdoor mounting).

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972203)

The only key piece of information you need to know is that they are Cisco routers; that explains everything.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972445)

The only key piece of information you need to know is that they are Cisco routers; that explains everything.

Not really - Cisco may be expensive, but it doesn't need to be *that* expensive. If they really do want to get 5 - 10 years of lifetime out of them, going Cisco is not the worst choice.

You may say "Bah, just buy a Netgear and replace it when it fails", but schools and libraries often don't have the staff to do that, in 2 years their current IT Admin is not going to have any idea how the router was set up by their previous admin.

Re:That hurts my stomach a little... (1)

SgtAaron (181674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972455)

Wow! Thats an enormous waste of money!
They make $22,000 routers? What could they possibly do that like an Airport Extreme can't? heh.

Screw that. I just told my boss about this story and he imploded. We've been deploying MikroTiks to many
remote sites and they never bat an eye (although we sometimes prefer to run OpenWRT on them instead of
dealing with RouterOS). At around $80 a piece, they could have saved nearly $24 million dollars. Add
some additional cost for something cheap that interfaces with their T-1's. Ah, they should have got all the
fiber ready and then bought something much cheaper that would interface with it. $24 million of OUR MONEY.
Thank you WV.

sounds like a contractors / sub contractors mess (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971817)

Workers just showed up and installed the device. They left behind no instructions, no user manual.

Not the main problem here (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971967)

State and federal spending rules are designed to be penny wise and pound foolish. They'll imprison a contractor who charges 5 hours of lunch breaks to a contract but won't even fire an employee who wastes several millions of dollars in a spending spree so ludicrous that no reasonable person would have charged forward on that. So the Verizon contractor who skips an hour a day but costs the tax payers a few thousand dollars at the most is more likely to get prosecuted than the high ranking government employee who just spent $25m when $2.5m (parts and labor) was likely the true ceiling for legitimate costs.

oblig bank analogy (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972153)

sounds an awful lot like the ATM tech who went to prison a yr or so ago for replacing real $ w/counterfeit while all the wall st executives who replaced real $ w/securities they knew couldn't possibly generate the required cash-flow over their life who've not only not been indicted but have gotten to keep all their comp for their "performance"

Re:Not the main problem here (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972349)

Well, there's a difference between incompetence and fraud. Billing extra hours to increase your own paycheck is a pretty clear case of fraud, but unless you can prove that somehow the person who ordered the routers got any personal kickback from it you can't really say the same about those. It is of course possible, but I've also seen cases where my biggest question is who thought it was a good idea to hire that person to sit on a budget. But everything can happen when the stupid hire the really stupid.

Re:Not the main problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972463)

Reminds me of Occupy New Haven... http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles/2012/04/26/new_haven_says_donors_to_help_restore_green/

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The city of New Haven says donors have come forward to cover most of the cost of repairing damage to the Green caused by the Occupy New Haven encampment.
The city initially estimated it would cost taxpayers around $25,000 to restore the grass where demonstrators had camped out for six months.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees said Thursday that the donors' contributions will leave taxpayers on the hook for about $4,000.
Crews have begun working to restore the site. Officials say the Upper Green will have to be roped off for about two months to allow new grass to grow.
The protesters were among the last remaining "occupy" encampments in the country when they were evicted by police earlier this month.
© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

WTF (5, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971833)

The most hilarious part is when Gianaro defended it in the name of " equal opportunity"' : "A student in a school of 200 students should have the same opportunity as a student in a school with 2,000 students."

WTF? Does he really thing the technology works like that...the bigger the router, the bigger the opportunity?

Re:WTF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971907)

Fuck you, shill.

Re:WTF (5, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972175)

Fuck you, shill.

Signed,
Jimmy Gianato, West Virginia Homeland Security Chief

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972047)

I wonder how Verizon structured this? Did they provide, say for example, gigabit circuits to all the locations and the routers to match or did they just deliver a bunch of big routers and gave some of the locations a T3 and the larger locations get bigger pipes?

Re:WTF (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972069)

Worse, does he realize that students in 200-person schools now enjoy ten times as much router CPU time as the underprivileged students struggling in 2,000-person schools?

Re:WTF (4, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972289)

That 200 student school better have the same number of classrooms, chairs, and desks as the 2000 student school.

And the same number of teachers. The same quantity of lunch prepared each day. The same number of computers. Can't harm the opportunity of the people at a smaller school after all.

Re:WTF (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972701)

Probably read it on Maxim or something.

Then just got a little confused about the subject matter at, er, hand.

That's funny... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971843)

Amazing that they manage to find time for the internet in between all that brother- and sister-fucking they like to do around those parts...

Clever West Virginia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971863)

In order to do this...
"A student in a school of 200 students should have the same opportunity as a student in a school with 2,000 students."

They decided each school needed the same router. Hrm. That makes sense to me. NOT

Spending Problems (5, Insightful)

neonv (803374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971869)

This is a problem with asking people to find a purpose for a pile of money rather than having a purpose and asking for funds.

Somewhere, Robert Byrd is smiling (1)

betona (1084525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972145)

After all, WV has a long history of overkill on pork projects.

Re:Spending Problems (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972269)

And that was the purpose of Porkulus. To piss away the better part of a Trillion dollars in the belief that just throwing such a huge sack of cash at the economy would somehow fix things. Of course it failed. But does anyone on the left admit that? Sure! Idiots like Paul Krugman insist that it failed because they didn't flush twice as much money down a rathole and that it isn't too late to flush some more.

Of course all too much of it would up taking backroads into the pockets of politically connected/favored people and organizations. And that was the actual goal.

How many routers did you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971875)

West Virginia has purchased hundred of enterprise class routers

vs.

worst part is that hundreds of the routers are

Re:How many routers did you say? (1)

Lorens (597774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972541)

TFA says 1064 routers.

Common Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971879)

Many schools I have worked with overkill their network. Putting in Catalyst 6500 switches for a school just to get a Metro Fiber connection in. When they could just buy a SFP that would do the same thing in their existing Catalyst switches. Very gross overkill indead, when we are canceling after school projects, science, books, etc..

Unintended benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971883)

I wonder if some of those schools have one of those little rooms like at Carrier CO's that divert all traffic to NSA?

Because ... (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971897)

... TSA/HomelandSecurity/Patriot Act is all about transfering public funds to private contractors.

hundreds of the routers are sitting in their boxes, unused, two years after the purchase.

But they were purchased. Mission accomplished (to borrow a slogan).

Re:Because ... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972261)

nope, economic stimulus only works when money changes hand again and again so the economy grows. Routers sitting in a box don't do that. Routers installed do a little of that. Routers installed and gainfully used can do a big amount of that, but not by using a $22,000 router to do a $150 router's job.

Re:Because ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972687)

The money isn't sitting in a box. I'm sure the money is changing hands and growing. It's just that it never gets back around to the taxpayers who still owe for it. Don't worry about a huge lot of money not being used --- there are a select few people making good use of it.

Misunderstood the title (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971917)

After reading the title I thought they bought $22k worth of average home routers and put them in schools, and imagined a big truckload of routers. Maybe a decent router that can run DD-WRT/OpenWRT.

Then I read the summary :-(

Someone needs to be flogged. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971959)

#1 - Juniper - just as good IMHO far cheaper (better in some ways)
#2 - Many router distributions [wikipedia.org] are just as good and FAR FAR cheaper. They could have bought an awesome overkill machine with a pile of multi-port NIC cards and still bought a lot of tech for the school with the money left over.

I know, I'm thinking like a standard FoSS philosopher, but still.

Re:Someone needs to be flogged. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972193)

They didn't even get near the level of price-comparison, unfortunately.

Given both vendor's likely flexibility on pricing in the face of large orders(small margins on my goods are better than selling nothing because you bought the other guy's stuff, and the marginal cost of a fancy router is substantially smaller than its sticker price), as well as the portion of the bill that was absorbed by miscellaneous options and config and integration and whatnot(which, given that those were handled by another contractor, not the vendor directly), it isn't immediately obvious that merely buying Cisco was a bad plan, or even that they could have escaped with their checkbooks from an arrangement built on commodity x86 gear.

Buying 5-10k routers for sites that could easily be covered by sub-1k routers, from the same vendor, is indicative of planning so deficient that merely switching vendors won't help you very much...

Re:Someone needs to be flogged. (4, Insightful)

HellKnite (266374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972199)

While both of your points can be valid depending on the situation, I think it's stepping around the key point of the article. It doesn't really matter whether you choose a slightly less expensive Juniper system or if you home brew something, if at the end of the day you spec out a $15,000 server to host that router distribution, you're still paying *way* too much for routing services at a site that hosts less than 10 devices.

I've dealt with the exact same challenges that this Gianato says he was trying to avoid by simply buying the same model for everywhere. It's a ludicrous strategy, especially when choosing the 3945 as your standard. Using 1900 series Cisco gear would still be overkill for most of these sites, and would cost 10%.

Finally - it seems to me like the government is paying full list for their gear. Even small businesses get SOME discount from Cisco and their resellers, who the hell actually pays list? We're not even a big shop and our discount is at least 30-40% depending on what we're purchasing.

Pretty sad, really.

ArsTechnica also did an article on this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971961)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/05/a-bizarre-operation-why-west-virginia-stuck-22600-routers-in-tiny-libraries/

Accountability (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971965)

The West Virginia Office of Technology warned that the purchase was 'grossly oversized' for the intended uses, but the purchase went through anyway.

Ok, so how do we hold the people who authorized these purchases accountable? Why isn't this considered fraud?

Re:Accountability (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972023)

it's not fraud because it's homeland security.

some evil dude would suggest that perhaps the firmwares on those ciscos should be looked at for eavesdrop hooks....

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972223)

some evil dude would suggest that perhaps the firmwares on those ciscos should be looked at for eavesdrop hooks....

Damn right. Librarians notoriously refused to co-operate with the PATRIOT act and allow FBI to get details of everyone's borrowing without a warrant, so presumably these routers have been bugged by DHS to make their decision irrelevant. They're going to record everything done by everyone using a public internet terminal at every library.

Re:Accountability (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972205)

Surely you can't suggest that listening to nerds should be a legal obligation!

man (2)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39971979)

Man...I'm working in the wrong state apparently!

Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39971985)

If we could get rid of the waste in government, we could probably lower taxes and not have to cut any programs.

Re:Waste (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972523)

The problem is that one man's waste is another man's treasure.

Govt stimulus == Waste of money (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972007)

For an extreme example, see the train to the nowhere (desert) in California. That's right. It just stops rather than continuing on to Las Vegas.

And for the Most extreme example, see the ghost cities of China where the government is builiding cities to "stimulate" the economy and the cities are almot completely empty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPILhiTJv7E [youtube.com] Government stimulus == waste, not stimulus. The free market allocates money better (and when the money gets wasted, it's usually some rich fat cat who wastes the money, not the taxpayers).

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972221)

The free market allocates money better

This is true in some cases but should not be followed as a religion. Many people take this axiomatically and apply it ubiquitously instead of looking at models and data and drawing a conclusion. I hope you don't believe this religiously. It is certainly untrue in the healthcare case. Republicans in particular claim that universal (single-payer) healthcare is like forcing something onto people. They say "just because broccoli is good for you doesn't mean the government should mandate that we all eat broccoli. It should be my free choice whether or not to eat broccoli". To which Paul Krugman's concise response is "When people choose not to buy broccoli, they don’t make broccoli unavailable to those who want it. But when people don’t buy health insurance until they get sick — which is what happens in the absence of a mandate — the resulting worsening of the risk pool makes insurance more expensive, and often unaffordable, for those who remain. As a result, unregulated health insurance basically doesn’t work, and never has."

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972483)

Private insurance sure as hell does work. It stopped working when government interfered with it just like every other industry government sticks it's nose in. The method that was used to prevent the situation you described was that insurance would only cover small amounts when you first got it, and the longer you had insurance the more it would cover. You could get more coverage from the beginning if you wanted it, but you had to pay for it. When government forced insurance companies to provide full coverage from day one, it created the situation you describe. Get the government out of the regulation business and you'll see a whole lot of things start working the way they should be.

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972311)

Can you provide a link to the train to nowhere? I searched on Google and DuckDuckGo quite a bit but was unable to find any mention of an existing train line that stops in the middle of the desert.

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972599)

Like most senile conservatards, he got agitated about something on AM radio and misremembered all the details.

He's either referring to California High Speed rail (first segment in the Central Valley) or DesertXpress (connecting Las Vegas and Victorville CA).

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972351)

The free market allocates money better (and when the money gets wasted, it's usually some rich fat cat who wastes the money, not the taxpayers).

Yup, they allocated public money right into their pockets, after having burned billions and held a gun to the nation's head and demanded a bailout.

There is no "Free Market." The corporations you worship so don't want one.

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972409)

From an economic perspective, money saved is money wasted -- if it's not changing hands, it's not helping the economy. So, which rich fat cat is helping our economy, the one you say is "wasting" money, or the one who is sitting on his nest egg, not letting it trickle down?

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972427)

To bad all of history shows you are wrong.

I"m sure all those workers, who the paid taxes, didn't think it was waste; nor did the merchants who sold the workers things.

Re:Govt stimulus == Waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972583)

Most extreme example, see the ghost cities of China where the government is builiding cities to "stimulate" the economy and the cities are almot completely empty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPILhiTJv7E [youtube.com] Government stimulus == waste, not stimulus. The free market allocates money better (and when the money gets wasted, it's usually some rich fat cat who wastes the money, not the taxpayers).

Um, no. The wages paid to the construction workers, etc. will be spent in the economy, leading to an increase in economic activity. It would be better if the spending itself were on something productive, but all government spending isn't a waste. The U.S. interstate highway system, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and NASA are all examples of government spending. The free market allocates money for maximum returns, not maximum well-being. It's all quite fine if the well-being of everyone isn't your concern, but it should be the government's.

Stimulus for the 1% (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972011)

Meanwhile, I bet there are schools in West Virginia where the kids have to share textbooks, and teachers have to hold bake sales to buy supplies.

Not surprised at all (4, Interesting)

dptalia (804960) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972037)

A decade ago I worked a contract for a small school district in Texas, installing server. The servers were several years out of date - purchased with a federal grant for millions of dollars. They then say in a warehouse until the district got YET ANOTHER grant to install it. Maintenance? Not unless they get another grant because no one there had a clue.....

The VZ sales rep is now retired in Aruba (2)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972065)

I find an extreme bias in Network Shops that have been indoctrinated with the CCXX mentality: If it doesn't come from Cisco, it's no good and most of the time they buy too much gear!

Cisco makes great stuff and they do have "small" gear too for this, looks like someone put in specs that were way overkill or that the competitive bidding process was not followed. That's common in government where you really don't have skilled people coming up with the technical specs, which in this case were probably done by somebody at VZ..

Re:The VZ sales rep is now retired in Aruba (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972179)

The competitive bidding process was followed exactly: Someone in government drew up the specs, and then had several companies bid on it, and they picked the cheapest bid.

Of course, the specs themselves were horrible, but that's not a problem with the bidding process... (At least, not in theory.)

Contact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972067)

You can voice your opinion to him here...
Jimmy.j.gianato@wv.gov

This is West Virginia people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972079)

Nothing to do there but fuck your sister. Just like I'm fucking yours right now. Oh yeah, I went there! ANd when I'm done I'm going to flip her over and go to the other place too w00t!

SAY WHAT NOW? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972297)

WHy has thsh been puts at -1 thas dpur comediy glodl! bpeesp. I's givings you mys bszth stff gher shis bplieca sukxls-

CSCO still in the crapper (1)

stanjo74 (922718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972127)

And yet, even with all this over-bloated pork stimulus, Cisco stock is still in the crapper.

Ridiculous Waste (2)

BStocknd (762377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972139)

Wow, a 3945 router to serve as a T1 endpoint? Whoever spec'd and approved that should be fired, no question! I just ordered a half dozen routers for just this purpose, a 1921 with T1 interface for under $1k each.

Re:Ridiculous Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972479)

To be fair, they ordered the 3945 to server future needed bandwidth and it will probably prove sufficient for 10+ years. The T1 expansion interface was added on so that older rural schools that only have T1 internet connections can also use the 3945 while waiting for a broadband connection upgrade.

In other words, they (probably over) provisioned for the future.

Modules, maybe? (1)

CanoeCrasher (980160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972157)

One possibility lies in the "expansion modules" discussed.

A 3945 is, indeed, a potent router capable of handling WAN connections over 100Mb. That's way more than you'll probably find in rural WV, today.

If this was bid to an RFP of some sort, then it gets muddy. Who wrote the RFP? Why did they choose those capabilities?

However, a 3945 Integrated Services Router (Generation 2) also support 4 SRE modules. These routers _could_ have integrated switch modules. No one will ever have to go out there to console into the switch - because it's a card in the router. There could be WAAS or UCSX modules, which provide WAN acceleration and ESXi hypervisor capabilities. There could be VOIP SRST capabilities built in for future (or current) voice redundancy. Again, this seems expensive, but generally shows an improvement in management down the road. One place to manage all the equipment in the library can be a significant improvement.

That router _could_ be replacing a WAN accelerator, a key system, a firewall, a switch, and a small VM server. Or maybe it's gratuitously oversized. The article doesn't include enough information to make that decision.

Lastly, 1000 T-1 cards added $1M to the cost. Well, yeah. That means each card cost $1k.

(I work for Cisco, if that matters)

CC

Most telling quote... (1, Funny)

el borak (263323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972165)

"I'm not an expert on the technical side," [Gianato] said

This from the man "who's leading the state broadband project".

West Virginia. Wild and Wonderful.

News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972201)

A poorly guarded pile of money was stolen (at least in part by Cisco in this case).

That *never* happens. :)

Return the gear for a full refund, jail the perps (1)

dsmithhfx (1772254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972227)

That's the only way you'll ever put a stop to this kind of thing.

The story is bogus (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972241)

I have never seen a real college campus served by a Cisco 3945.

I have seen plenty of branch offices and banks with using Cisco 3800 series devices, the 3945 predecessors.

Whether or not the device was overpaid for is a different question - I wouldn't be surprised if they used some 8A competition limiting factors that jacked up prices, or, if it included the actual installation and smartnet maintenance costs.

Do smaller routers have the CALEA / DHS features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972279)

Just saying ...

Why use T1's? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972327)

The article says that the routers were provisioned with T1 cards so they are compatible with the copper T1 lines that the libraries already use for broadband.

Why are they using T1's when DSL could give them faster service for much less cost (unless they are getting some super government T1 discount from the phone company)

I know that a T1 is in theory more reliable (in practice that varies... I've seen DSL lines run for years without a problem while the T1 right next to it has problems every time there's a big rainstorm). In theory a tech is dispatched sooner to fix a T1 line.

mnare (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972339)

Once again (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972371)

Homeland security sticks the fingers into a pie it doesn't understand, screws it up.
Defund Homeland security.

Targetting purchasers... (2)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972511)

People who manage school budgets are not unlike the people that manage home budgets: they don't get much credit for saving money, except for the credit they get is for how they spend the money that they have saved. There unfortunatly is a tendency to avoid splurge/waste all that money that was diligently saved. Example: look, I saved enough money to send us on a expensive vacation! Look what I bought with this stimulus money!

Also, schools (like many businesses), are prime targets for product and service slamming attack by unscrupulus vendors. Even in the best of times, purchasing groups for school districts and many businesses aren't really experts at what to buy, or even how to negotiate deals. They often aren't much better than the typical minimally-informed car buyer who goes into a car dealer and expects to buy a car and only does it once every 5-10 years. The car dealer gives them an over-inflated price, lets the purchaser negotiate it down so the potential purchaser can feel good, they buy the product and a few more marginally-valuable goodies that have super-high profit margins as add-ons at the last moment. If the purchaser doesn't play ball, they've wasted all the time and go to the next pre-qualified vendor that does the exact same thing to the purchaser, until eventually either the purchaser gets lucky and finds a honest vendor, or they just get tired and buy something that is sorta what they want/need.

Why does this happen more to businesses and schools than individuals? It probably doesn't, it just seem like that because of reporting. Joe-average (or Jane-average) consumer has this happen all the time to them (esp if they don't care too much about money, or maybe they didn't earn the money, but got it from their spouse), but you don't see it on the news. Many people buy stuff because it's "cool" or they got a free gift bag, money is often not a criteria. However many times, the motivation boils down to you can't show people the money you save/earn/found unless it makes a splash and if you feel the need to show the splash to show your worth (to your boss/spouse/friend), it's easy to fall into this trap and vendors know it and they have a product/price point for every amount of splash you want to make.

Guess im moving to West Virginia........ (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972521)

so your saying I can get small schools to buy huge enterprise class equipment, at retail prices, and not install them! Most publicly funded institutions get huge discounts on this stuff, so there is even more profit to be made.

Good news? Anyone? Bueller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972603)

Does anyone have any GOOD news?

As a regional WISP I say (2)

siberian (14177) | more than 2 years ago | (#39972611)

F*ck you broadband stimulus.

That was such a rigged process we went through. We even had the governor sign our petition that was submitted to the fed (promising matching funds and loans) to extend broadband to TRULY rural and unserved (not underserved, UNSERVED) areas and lost out to the big boys who went and did stupid stuff like this.

$22k would buy us an entire base-station that will serve 100+ users.

Grrrr..

They have bandwidth envy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39972667)

Must be hard living in our shadow

http://www.oar.net/press/releases/2012/2012_050712_100G_expansion.shtml

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