CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced that $19.7 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will be put towards the expansion of broadband services in West Virginia.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of reliable, affordable broadband access for all West Virginians and Americans. We know that at least 258,000 West Virginians have no broadband access, and we think that number is likely much higher,” said Senator Manchin. “This announcement is great news for Logan and Mingo counties and will help expand broadband access to every West Virginian, no matter where they live.”

The funding will benefit more than 12,000 West Virginian households across Logan and Mingo counties thanks to the Fiber to the Premises project, a project that works to enable last-mile broadband access.

“This is great news for West Virginia, and specifically for people in Mingo and Logan counties who continue to struggle with unreliable internet access.” Senator Capito said. “I heard from Deanna in Chapmanville who says her internet is often unusable and hurting her children’s education, and Ethan in Dingess who feels that his area has been forgotten. We cannot afford to leave any West Virginians behind in our goal to connect every house, business, school, and hospital with high-speed internet access. The project announced today will connect nearly 13,000 houses with broadband fiber, giving a major boost to an area of our state that desperately needs it.” 

Michael Clemons, CEO of GigaBeam Networks, said, “GigaBeam Networks is excited and honored to be a partner in this unique project to solve the digital divide in both Logan and Mingo Counties. This grant funding provided by the Department of Commerce’s NTIA will assure availability to the unserved families and businesses of reliable and affordable internet service with superior speed and performance. This project wouldn’t be a reality without the efforts our private partners and the work of our local, state and federal leaders.”