Idaho will repay the Federal Communications Commission $3.5 million to cover federal funds that went to the botched statewide school broadband contract.
State leaders made the payment Tuesday as part of a settlement with the federal agency over claims that the state misused more than $14 million in federal money by putting it toward the illegally awarded contract.
Lawmakers approved the program to bring broadband internet access to all of Idaho's schools nearly a decade ago. At the time, they believed the $60 million program would be mostly covered by money from the Federal Communications Commission.
But the project was beset with problems from the start. The state was sued by a company contending that the broadband contract was illegally awarded to more expensive bidders, and the courts eventually agreed.