AP: State had pursued a $7.2 million broadband settlement

Idaho was negotiating a $7.2 million settlement with Idaho Education Network vendors, but the deal went south when the Idaho Supreme Court voided the broadband contract.

Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press reported on the negotiations Thursday, citing a draft settlement agreement.

Under the draft agreement, Kruesi reports, Education Networks of America and CenturyLink each would have received $3.6 million for their work on the defunct high school broadband system.

Settlement talks came to a halt, however, with a unanimous Idaho Supreme Court ruling that voided the $60 million broadband contract. The March 1 ruling upheld a lower court ruling.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill said settlement talks were on hold.

By the end of the 2016 legislative session, however, lawmakers approved $8 million to pursue a possible settlement with Idaho Education Network vendors. Hill and House Speaker Scott Bedke say they are hoping to avert $11 million in lawsuits over the issue.

ENA and CenturyLink have filed tort claims, seeking back payments from the state. The tort claims are a precursor to a possible lawsuit.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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