West Virginia tentatively announced $32 million in broadband grants last week.
The company slated to receive the most funding is local provider Prodigi which was tentatively awarded about $14.5 million through the state’s Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program.
The next biggest winner was Frontier Communications, which is slated to receive $6.3 million through the state’s Major Broadband Project Strategies (MBPS) program.
Also expected to receive funding are:
- Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, which is expected to receive $3.4 million through the LEAD program
- Armstrong Telecommunications, which is expected to receive $3.4 million through the LEAD program
- Micrologic, which is expected to receive $2.8 million through the MBPS program
- Shentel, which is expected to receive $1.5 million, including $1.1 million through the MBPS program and $402,727 through the LEAD program
The companies slated to receive funding will contribute matching funds totaling over $16 million, yielding a total investment in the projects of more than $48 million.
The MBPS awards were all made as public-private partnerships, with a public entity contributing some of the project costs.
Frontier’s public partner is the Berkeley County Council. Shentel and Micrologic are both partnering with the Grant County Commission.
West Virginia Broadband Awards
Most of the funding for the MBPS and LEAD programs, as well as for a separate West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, came through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The state allocated $90 million in ARPA funding to the West Virginia Broadband Development Fund. In addition, the state allocated $10 million from its general revenue funds to the programs.
A press release from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice also noted that “Funds are also derived through the ARPA Capital Projects Fund, which includes $136 million for broadband development in West Virginia.”
The state previously awarded $18 million in broadband funding in June. Frontier was the biggest winner in that round.
Micrologic traditionally has been a fixed wireless provider, but according to Justice’s press release, the company will use its funding to install approximately 55 miles of fiber.
In recent years, Armstrong Telecommunications has been using fiber broadband, rather than its traditional hybrid fiber coax approach, to upgrade its network.
A complete list of the funding tentatively awarded, with additional details, can be found in this press release.