WEST UNION, W.Va. – A $7.6 million broadband investment was announced on Monday, to improve broadband services in Barbour, Doddridge and Randolph counties.
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Jim Hubbard, USDA West Virginia State Director, Kris Warner, and others to announce a $7,623,751 million broadband investment.
Since the launch of Senator Capito’s, Capito Connect initiative in 2015, USDA has awarded more than $45 million in grants to extend broadband service and improve telemedicine in West Virginia.
Whether it’s broadband or highways, infrastructure is vital to the well-being of West Virginians and the communities within which they live. I helped create the ReConnect program within the appropriations process because I saw the need to close the digital divide in rural America. I’ve continued to support ReConnect enthusiastically because USDA uniquely understands the difficulties associated with implementing broadband in rural areas and is better equipped to tackle those issues head-on. Today’s announcement will help connect more than 6,000 people in Barbour, Doddridge, and Randolph counties. This is a major step forward in our efforts to better-connect West Virginia thanks in part to my Capito Connect Plan. It also demonstrates how the collaboration of local, state, and federal partners can lead to results that help West Virginia homes and businesses in need. Access and affordability of rural broadband has always been a priority of mine, and I’m grateful to see Secretary Perdue and the Trump administration prioritize this issue.”Senator Capito
The releases states, this announcement is the fourth ReConnect grant Senator Capito has announced for West Virginia in the last year.
The grant, which is through USDA’s ReConnect program, was awarded to Citynet and will support the buildout of broadband infrastructure to provide gigabit level service over a 205-mile fiber network to residents in Barbour, Doddridge, and Randolph counties.
So many rural communities across West Virginia and across the nation need this critical infrastructure to prosper. This funding will allow for economic expansion, opportunity, and increased quality of life in these rural communities. I appreciate the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Perdue in prioritizing this critical initiative for rural communities across the country.”Jim Hubbard
As a result, the project will benefit approximately 6,054 people, 58 farms, 41 businesses, three fire stations, two schools, and two post offices, according to the release.
This investment will bring many benefits to include remote learning and telework capabilities to rural West Virginia. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has continued to work untiringly as a strong partner to rural communities because we know that when rural West Virginia thrives, all of America thrives.”Kris Warner