Stearns questions conflicts of interest in broadband plan

Stearns ended the letter with sharply worded questions about the resources used to create the National Broadband Plan--a document that, he says, will "reiterate what existing evidence already showed and many of us have known for so long."

A few of the questions:

--Why, specifically, was it necessary to delay the release of the plan to March 17 from the statutorily required deadline of Feb. 17?

--How much money have you spent in preparing the plan? Please provide a total figure as well as a breakdown, including figures for categories such as...amount spent on studies and reports, amount spent on travel, amount spent on workshops, and amount spent on printing and production.

--How many staff people were hired specifically to work on the plan? From where were they typically hired?

--How did the FCC review potential conflicts of interest among employees hired from the private sector?

--What is your personal opinion on whether broadband services should be classified under Title II?

It's an interesting letter that seems to be coming quite late in the game. Many of these questions could have been addressed closer to the beginning of the 8-month process expected to come to conclude Tuesday.