CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – $5,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is coming to the West Virginia Department of Economic Development for broadband expansion across West Virginia.

Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announcedThis funding was made possible by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program and will be used for technical planning and public outreach to promote the full participation of all West Virginians in today’s digital economy.

“Access to affordable, reliable broadband is vital to the success and growth of our communities across West Virginia. That’s why I helped author the $65 billion broadband section in our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide historic broadband funding to expand access for all West Virginians, regardless of where they live in our great state. Broadband access is critical for helping elderly citizens access telehealth appointments, assisting small business owners in establishing an online presence and providing additional tools so that all West Virginians can succeed with high-speed Internet. I am pleased NTIA is investing $5 million to support West Virginia in collecting and analyzing granular mapping data and ensuring we have the tools necessary to accurately close the digital divide in our state. As we implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I will continue working with federal, state and local officials to ensure everyone has broadband access in the Mountain State.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

“Providing West Virginians with access to fast-speed, reliable broadband services has been a top priority for me throughout my time in Congress, and the reason I started my Capito Connect program in 2015. While I was negotiating and helping craft the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, I made certain that ample resources would be made available for West Virginia’s unserved and underserved areas, and that West Virginia would also receive additional formula funding to support broadband expansion. NTIA is playing a pivotal role in our goal to close the digital divide, which is why I brought leaders from the department to West Virginia for a broadband summit this August. This funding announced today is another step in the right direction, and will help better-connect our state in the near future.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

The funding announced was made possible through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. The project will utilize community outreach, stakeholder engagement and data collection and analysis to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved populations across West Virginia.

West Virginia was one of the first states to have their BEAD planning application submitted, and this award marks a significant step in making sure this historic funding does not leave anyone behind.