Gov. Justice announces another $20.8 million in grant funding for major broadband projects across West Virginia
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice today announced the preliminary approval of over $20.8 million in grant funding to begin a series of six massive broadband infrastructure projects across the state through the Major Broadband Project Strategies (MBPS) program.
The MBPS program is a branch 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.
Today’s announcement marks the first round of grants awarded through the MBPS program. The approved projects will result in more than 628 miles of new fiber infrastructure, providing broadband connectivity to 5,849 homes and businesses in West Virginia.
“I could not be more proud – my Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy is really on the move,” Gov. Justice said. “These projects are going to make a massive difference in the lives of so many West Virginians. They’re going to enable people to have incredible broadband access in areas of our state that have never had it before.
“This will help people who need high-speed internet to work remotely and help students be able to do their homework, give our seniors better access to telehealth options, allow businesses to reach more customers than ever. The possibilities go on and on and West Virginians everywhere deserve this critical access. I applaud all the hard work that went into making this announcement possible.”
The state’s total investment of $20,845,157 will leverage an additional $13,279,926 from other funding sources, for a total broadband infrastructure investment of $34,125,083 for this round alone.
This marks the third time this year that Gov. Justice has announced a round of major broadband projects through his Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy. Today’s round of MBPS projects joins two previous rounds of Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) projects.
Factoring in all funding sources combined, a grand total investment of over $61.2 million has been committed to undertake 16 major broadband infrastructure projects throughout West Virginia. These projects will result in over 1,000 miles of new fiber infrastructure, providing high-speed broadband access to over 11,000 new homes and businesses.
“The magnitude of what we’ve done to expand access to broadband in West Virginia in such a short period of time is really unprecedented,” Gov. Justice said. “And what’s even more exciting is that we’re just getting started. We are going to keep announcing round after round of these projects until we light up every nook and cranny of our state with broadband. West Virginians everywhere should be incredibly excited.”
Projects announced today include those received under the MBPS program’s first application round, which closed on Feb. 19, 2022. Additional approvals will be announced soon.