WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that West Virginia received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. West Virginia is receiving $5,728,065.00 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
“West Virginians in the most remote parts of the state deserve the same access to affordable high-speed Internet service as their urban counterparts, and this funding will put state leaders on the path to making those connections,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Closing the digital divide will provide West Virginians with greater access to education, work, and health care services. I commend Governor Justice and his team for undertaking efforts to expand high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of West Virginia.”
“Bringing high speed, reliable broadband access to our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses in West Virginia has always been a top priority, which is why I strongly advocated for broadband provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This funding collectively will assist in our efforts to provide communities with the resources they need to improve connectivity overall. In the meantime, I will continue working with leaders on the federal and state levels to make certain that West Virginia’s unserved and underserved areas are accurately represented so we can ensure future resources are directed to the areas that need them the most,” said West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito.
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About West Virginia’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs. West Virginia will receive $5 million to fund various activities including: Identification of unserved and underserved locations within the state; Training and increasing capacity of the broadband office; Asset mapping across West Virginia to catalog high-speed Internet adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment; Surveying communities to better understand barriers to high-speed Internet adoption; Development of a 5-year action plan to help the WV Broadband project make data-driven; decisions and invest in communities with the greatest need; Awarding funding to West Virginia University and Marshall University.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts. West Virginia will receive $728,065.00 to fund various activities including:
- Development of a statewide digital equity plan;
- Creation of a digital equity program within WV Broadband;
- Funding pilot programs.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.