Colorado school broadband provider reports to lawmakers as federal funding runs out

DENVER - An entity charged with connecting Colorado schools to broadband told lawmakers it hopes to have more than 80 percent of districts covered by the end of 2014 as federal grant funding is running out.

Eagle-Net Alliance President Mike Ryan told lawmakers during a hearing Monday about $5 million is left from a 2010 $100 million grant to link 168 school districts to broadband.

Ryan said after the hearing that that an additional $10-to-$15 million is needed to get all school districts linked within the next three to five years. He says Eagle-Net plans to get the money from grants, private donors, and money generated through a partnership with Texas-based Affiniti.

Lawmakers have scrutinized the Westminster-based Eagle-Net because the publicly funded entity hasn't met its broadband goals in time.