West Virginia Governor Jim Justice recently announced preliminary approval for over $18 million in funding for broadband infrastructure projects across the state. These projects are part of the Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy, aiming to connect 200,000 homes and businesses to broadband services. The funding includes programs such as LEAD, MBPS, and WIN, which will provide upgrades to wireless technology, install new fiber infrastructure, and expand broadband coverage in rural areas.
The state’s investment of $18,675,465 will be supplemented by an additional $19,155,920 from other funding sources, resulting in a total infrastructure investment of $37,831,385. The approved projects will bring broadband connectivity to more than 8,250 targeted locations, covering a distance of over 700 miles with new fiber infrastructure. This investment will benefit 21,126 homes and businesses that currently lack internet services.
Some of the specific projects receiving funding include upgrading towers with 5G and mid-band wireless technology in Coopers Rock State Forest and bringing reliable connectivity to Watoga State Park. In addition, broadband expansion projects in Preston, Monongalia, Ripley, and Ravenswood will provide high-speed internet access to targeted addresses in these areas, benefiting the communities and improving public safety and tourism.