Broadband panel lawyers up, makes no decisions

The state panel widely known as IPRAC met again Tuesday — behind closed doors.

The Idaho Education Network’s Program Resource Advisory Council — assigned to oversee the troubled statewide high school broadband system — convened Tuesday morning. The council promptly went into a closed executive session, the only item on its agenda.

The meeting lasted just over an hour, and the council adjourned without making any decisions on the broadband system or the 5-year-old lawsuit involving the $60 million system contract.

Under the state’s open meetings law, public agencies cannot take any formal action in an executive session. The law does allow agencies “to discuss the legal ramifications of and legal opinions for pending litigation, or controversies not yet litigated but imminently to be litigated.”

In November, District Judge Patrick Owen voided the network contract, throwing thee future of the system and funding for the project into limbo. The state has asked Owen to clarify or reconsider his decision.

The lawsuit and the resulting funding mess aren’t the only issues facing the network, which connects high schools across Idaho. Last week, IPRAC members learned that the network could hit its capacity by March or April.

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