USDA rescinds broadband stimulus award to Texas firm charged with securities violations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has rescinded a $19-million broadband stimulus grant/loan that was announced on Aug. 18 to a Texas wireless company as it was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in April with alleged federal securities violations.

The information came to light after an investigative report published by questioned the award to Dallas-based TierOne Converged Networks since the company had been charged by the SEC and two of its officers had been cited by state securities regulators in Colorado and Texas the two previous years.

The USDA's decision came after a two-week review of the $19-million award. In a statement issued to, the USDA said: "In light of recent information and disclosure by TierOne to RUS, we are rescinding our prior announcement of our intent to offer an award to TierOne."

The USDA's Rural Utilities Service division and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are both in charge of administering $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus money. To date, the two agencies have awarded $6.2 billion. 

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