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$6 million in grant funding announced for major broadband projects

August 14th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

 Gov. Jim Justice today announced the preliminary approval of $6 million in grant funding for two massive broadband infrastructure projects – spanning Kanawha, Jackson, and Lincoln counties – through the Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program.

The LEAD program is a branch of Gov. Justice’s Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy – a plan to invest over $1 billion in state and federal funds to make broadband connectivity available for the first time to 200,000 West Virginia homes and businesses.

Today’s announcement marks the third round of grants awarded through the LEAD program. The approved projects will result in approximately 768 miles of new fiber infrastructure, providing broadband connectivity to 9,337 homes and businesses in West Virginia.

“We continue to line up more and more broadband projects all across West Virginia, and this latest round of projects should come as a major excitement to those in the more remote areas of Kanawha, Jackson, and Lincoln counties,” Gov. Justice said. “For our people to be successful and for our businesses to compete on the world stage, we have to expand access to reliable broadband. That’s exactly what my Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy is doing.”

The state’s total investment of $6,000,000 will leverage an additional $8,366,765 from other funding sources, for a total broadband infrastructure investment of $14,366,765 for this round alone.

This marks the fourth time this year that Gov. Justice has announced a round of major broadband projects through his Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy. Today’s round of projects joins two previous rounds of LEAD projects and one additional round of projects through the Major Broadband Project Strategies (MBPS) program.