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Gov. Justice announces $55.3 million in grant funding for major broadband projects across West Virginia

Next round of grants awarded as part of Gov. Justice’s Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy; will provide connectivity to 17,500 homes and businesses
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice today announced the preliminary approval of more than $55.3 million in GigReady and Major Broadband Project Strategies Program (MBPS) funds to broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state. This announcement includes applications received under Gov. Justice’s West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan and the first announcement for preliminary approvals made under the GigReady Program.

The MBPS and GigReady programs are part of Gov. Justice’s Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy – a plan to invest over $1 billion in state and federal funds to make broadband connectivity available for the first time to 200,000 West Virginia homes and businesses.

Projects announced through this application cycle will provide broadband connectivity to more than 17,500 targeted locations in West Virginia. The investment will result in more than 940 miles of new fiber infrastructure. This allocation of state funding will leverage $16,775,368 in additional funds for a total broadband infrastructure investment of $72,141,883.

“Our goal of getting more and more West Virginians high-speed internet access continues, and this latest announcement should get people in Greenbrier, Monroe, Raleigh, Randolph, Roane, and Summers counties very, very excited,” Gov. Justice said. “We have to continue to expand access to reliable broadband. That’s the goal of my Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy.”

“This round of improvements will help people who need high-speed internet to work remotely, allow students to do their homework, give our seniors access to the telehealth options they need, and businesses the ability to compete on the world stage. The possibilities go on and on, and West Virginians everywhere deserve the best access possible. I thank all the people who are turning this vision into a reality.”

Applicants under GigReady may participate either in the technical assistance phase where the program helps communities scope projects and complete other necessary steps in the development process or by requesting implementation funding for more fully developed infrastructure projects. This GigReady program announcement includes five projects that are ready for implementation funding to install high-speed broadband infrastructure.

Funding for the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, MBPS Program, is provided through Gov. Justice’s request, and the West Virginia Legislature’s approval, of $100 million to create the West Virginia Broadband Development Fund. The Fund includes $90 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $10 million in state general revenue funds. Funds are also derived through the ARPA Capital Projects Fund, which includes $136 million for broadband development in West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Office of Broadband, will administer program funds.

Under the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, projects selected for award will receive a Preliminary Approval Announcement, which will be published on http://broadband.wv.gov. Internet Service Providers other than the applicant will receive an opportunity to submit data to the West Virginia Department of Economic Development demonstrating that the ISP currently offers broadband service at 25/3 Mbps or greater to addresses within the Proposed Project Funded Service Area. Data submitted must meet all the requirements described in the Process for Soliciting Information Regarding Unserved Areas, which the Department published on July 12, 2021.

This marks the fifth time this year that Gov. Justice has announced a round of major broadband projects through his Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy. Today’s round of GigReady and MBPS projects joins four previous rounds of MBPS and Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) projects.
Gov. Justice announces over $17.4 million in grant funding for broadband improvement projects across West Virginia (1-19-22)

Gov. Justice announces over $3.9 million in grant funding for broadband improvement projects across West Virginia (3-18-22)

Gov. Justice announces another $20.8 million in grant funding for major broadband projects across West Virginia (7-18-22)

Gov. Justice announces another $6 million in grant funding for major broadband projects spanning Kanawha, Jackson, and Lincoln counties (8-9-22)
Factoring in all funding sources combined, a grand total investment of over $130 million has been committed to undertake 24 major broadband infrastructure projects throughout West Virginia. These projects will result in over 2,700 miles of new fiber infrastructure, providing high-speed broadband access to over 37,000 new homes and businesses.
Broadband projects receiving funds listed below:

Raleigh County Commission: Ghent Fiber Deployment Project
GigReady Program Funds: $5,889,198
Matching Funds: $1,963,066
Total Project Cost $7,852,264
Estimated Fiber Mileage: 106
Targeted Addresses: 1,677
Public-Private Partner – Gigabeam Networks, Inc.

Summers County Commission: Summers County Fiber-Mountview to Bellepoint
GigReady Program Funds: $3,703,147
Matching Funds: $1,234,382
Total Project Cost: $4,937,529
Estimated Fiber Mileage: 65
Targeted Addresses: 1,036
Public-Private Partner – Gigabeam Networks, Inc.

Monroe County Commission: Seneca Trail & Green Valley Road Fiber Project
GigReady Program Funds: $1,797,904
Matching Funds: $599,301
Total Project Cost: $2,397,205
Estimated Fiber Mileage: 30
Targeted Addresses: 633
Public-Private Partner – Gigabeam Networks, Inc.

Greenbrier County Commission: Greenbrier Broadband Expansion Project
GigReady Program Funds: $12,940,988
Matching Funds: $4,313,663
Total Project Cost: $17,254,651 
Estimated Fiber Mileage: 177 
Targeted Addresses: 5,316 
Public-Private Partner – Citynet, LLC

Roane County Economic Development Authority: Multi-County Broadband Project
GigReady Program Funds: $17,057,869
Matching Funds: $5,685,956
Total Project Cost: $22,743,825 
Estimated Fiber Mileage: 287 
Targeted Addresses: 4,878 
Public-Private Partner – Citynet, LLC

Micrologic: Randolph County Fiber Deployment
MBPS Program Funds: $13,977,410
Matching Funds: $2,979,000 
Total Project Cost: $16,956,410 
Estimated Fiber Mileage: 282 
Targeted Addresses: 3,991 
Under the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, projects selected for award will receive a Preliminary Approval Announcement, which will be published on broadband.wv.gov. Internet Service Providers other than the applicant will receive an opportunity to submit data to the West Virginia Department of Economic Development demonstrating that the ISP currently offers broadband service at 25/3 Mbps or greater to addresses within the Proposed Project Funded Service Area. Data submitted must meet all the requirements described in the Process for Soliciting Information Regarding Unserved Areas, which the Department published on July 12, 2021.