Caught the Speaking in Tech podcast this morning while I was out for a run and was just floored by this story about the State of West Virginia buying $24 million worth of Cisco 3945 routers at $22k each for use in schools, libraries, and rural double wide trailers.
“The WVDE asked if the size of the routers could vary based on the needs of a school,” said Liza Cordeiro, spokeswoman for the Department of Education. “At that time, it is our understanding that, for consistency and future expansion, the plan was to buy all the same size.”
Gianato said putting the same size router in every school was about “equal opportunity.”
“We wanted to make sure a student in McDowell County had the same opportunities as a student in Kanawha County or anywhere else,” he said. “A student in a school of 200 students should have the same opportunity as a student in a school with 2,000 students.”
Seriously, WTF? “Equal Opportunity” its a damn router idiot.
The routers alone cost the state $7,800 each, but “add-ons” — additional equipment that came with the devices — boosted the price tag by $14,800.
“It’s like buying a car,” Gianato said. “You get a lot of options with the car.”
An online Cisco retailer was selling new 3945 series routers for $5,800 last week. The routers have a list price of $13,000 each.
I can’t even begin to comprehend this level of stupidity and waste, and honestly the only thing I can think of is that a massive level of fraud was perpetrated onto the people of West Virginia. Everyone involved in this boondoggle needs to be fired. When you start looking into the details (like Cisco being mentioned by name in the spec request, and that there was no RFP) the level of malfeasance continues to grow.
“I’m not an expert on the technical side,” he said, “but these have all kinds of capabilities and applications.”
Understatement of the Century.
And the kicker, the Cisco rep who sold the gear retired after that sale.