GHENT, WV (WVNS) – $55 million dollars worth of broadband upgrades are bringing 940 miles of fiber to Southern West Virginia.

More than $55.3 million in GigReady and Major Broadband Project Strategies Program (MBPS) funds in broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state were approved today, September 16, 2022. Governor Jim Justice made the announcement of the funding earlier today.

Here are the funds coming to counties in our area:

  • Raleigh County Commission: Ghent Fiber Deployment Project
    • GigReady Program Funds: $5,889,198
    • Matching Funds: $1,963,066
    • Total Project Cost $7,852,264
    • Estimated Fiber Mileage: 106
    • Targeted Addresses: 1,677
    • Public-Private Partner – Gigabeam Networks, Inc.
  • Summers County Commission: Summers County Fiber-Mountview to Bellepoint
    • GigReady Program Funds: $3,703,147
    • Matching Funds: $1,234,382
    • Total Project Cost: $4,937,529
    • Estimated Fiber Mileage: 65
    • Targeted Addresses: 1,036
    • Public-Private Partner – Gigabeam Networks, Inc.
  • Monroe County Commission: Seneca Trail & Green Valley Road Fiber Project
    • GigReady Program Funds: $1,797,904
    • Matching Funds: $599,301
    • Total Project Cost: $2,397,205
    • Estimated Fiber Mileage: 30
    • Targeted Addresses: 633
    • Public-Private Partner – Gigabeam Networks, Inc.
  • Greenbrier County Commission: Greenbrier Broadband Expansion Project
    • GigReady Program Funds: $12,940,988
    • Matching Funds: $4,313,663
    • Total Project Cost: $17,254,651 
    • Estimated Fiber Mileage: 177 
    • Targeted Addresses: 5,316 
    • Public-Private Partner – Citynet, LLC

The MBPS and GigReady programs are part of Gov. Justice’s Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy. The strategy will make broadband connectivity available for the first time to 200,000 West Virginia homes and businesses by using over $1 billion in state and federal funds.

These projects will provide broadband connectivity to more than 17,500 targeted locations in West Virginia. The investment will result in more than 940 miles of new fiber infrastructure.

“Our goal of getting more and more West Virginians high-speed internet access continues, and this latest announcement should get people in Greenbrier, Monroe, Raleigh, Randolph, Roane, and Summers counties very, very excited. We have to continue to expand access to reliable broadband. That’s the goal of my Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy. This round of improvements will help people who need high-speed internet to work remotely, allow students to do their homework, give our seniors access to the telehealth options they need, and businesses the ability to compete on the world stage. The possibilities go on and on, and West Virginians everywhere deserve the best access possible. I thank all the people who are turning this vision into a reality.”

Governor Jim Justice (R-WV)

Applicants under GigReady may participate either in the technical assistance phase where the program helps communities scope projects and complete other necessary steps in the development process or by requesting implementation funding for more fully developed infrastructure projects.

Funding for the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, MBPS Program, is provided through Gov. Justice’s request, and the West Virginia Legislature’s approval, of $100 million to create the West Virginia Broadband Development Fund.

This is the fifth round of major broadband projects announced through the Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy this year.