Posted: Jun 20, 2017

USDA and Capito Award $3 Million Grant to Enhance Broadband Access in Barbour, Randolph, and Upshur Counties

Region VII Planning & Development Council is proud to announce that with our assistance, the Barbour County, Randolph County, and Upshur County Development Authorities have been awarded a $3,000,000.00 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to expand broadband coverage in sections of Barbour, Randolph, and Upshur counties. Please see the press release below from Senator Capito's office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today announced $3 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide broadband access in Barbour, Randolph and Upshur Counties. The grant will be matched with $450,000 in local funds, bringing the total project to nearly $3.5 million. Funding will be used to deploy fixed wireless broadband to over 3,500 households and business in the tri-county region, providing broadband access to nearly 9,000 West Virginia residents and employers.

“Connecting West Virginia has always been top priorities of mine, and I’m thrilled that efforts like my Capito Connect plan are producing results that will help close the digital divide in our state,” Senator Capito said. “This funding is a huge win for West Virginia and the residents and businesses in the tri-county region. I can’t wait to see the economic growth and opportunity this project will bring to our state, and I will continue working to provide similar opportunities across West Virginia.”

The Central West Virginia Development Association, LLC project is the first major broadband grant award in the state of West Virginia since Senator Capito announced her Capito Connect plan in 2015. This project is an example of how communities across West Virginia can secure federal funds to deploy broadband through public-private partnerships. From grant workshops to helping shape policies that make it easier for municipalities and cooperatives to form broadband networks, Senator Capito has been a leader in helping to provide opportunities for expanding rural broadband access in West Virginia.

The newly announced funding may be used for:
• Constructing, acquiring or leasing property or lands used to deploy broadband service;
• Providing broadband service free of charge for two years to facilities such as public schools, fire stations and public libraries; and
• Improving, expanding, constructing or acquiring a community center to provide online access to the public.