St. Louis Public Radio News
6:07 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

AT&T Missouri settles lawsuit over school Internet program

Jefferson City, Mo. – AT&T Missouri has agreed to settle a lawsuit that accuses the company of violating the False Claims Act in connection with an Internet access program for schools.

The E-Rate program enables schools and libraries in low-income neighborhoods to gain access to the Internet.

U.S. Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller says the suit accused AT&T Missouri of colluding with school officials in Kansas City to engage in non-competitive bidding practices.

"The U.S. contended that AT&T Missouri provided false information to the E-Rate program and otherwise violated the program's requirements," Miller said.

The Kansas City School District has already agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice.

AT&T Missouri released a statement, which says, in part, that it's committed to helping ensure all eligible K-12 schools and public libraries have affordable access to advanced telecommunications services.

The company was formerly known as Southwestern Bell. It will pay $1.4 million and admit no wrongdoing.