GHENT, WV (WVNS) — The preliminary approval of millions for various broadband infrastructure projects throughout West Virginia was announced by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

More than $18 million was announced by Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 as a part of Jim Justice’s billion-dollar broadband strategy, a plan to invest $1 billion in state and federal funds to make broadband connectivity available to more than 200,000 homes and businesses. The announcement marks the first preliminary award made for the WIN program which covers state parks and forests by expanding wireless technology. This funding will implement three 5G towers in Coopers Rock State Forest, Watoga State Park and the surrounding areas.

“I am committed to ensuring that all West Virginians, and all who visit our Great State have access to the most advanced internet connectivity possible. This allocation of funding represents several major steps toward this goal. The projects I am announcing today continue to solidify our commitment to developing broadband infrastructure throughout West Virginia.”

WV Governor Jim Justice

This announcement includes applications received under the programs Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD), Major Broadband Project Strategies (MBPS), and Wireless Internet Networks (WIN). This funding will result in more than 700 miles of new fiber infrastructure, providing connectivity to 21,126 homes and businesses that previously have not had internet services.

The state’s total investment of $18,675,465 will leverage an additional $19,155,920 from other funding sources, for a total broadband infrastructure investment of $37,831,385 for this round alone.