By MAX GARLAND
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several West Virginia internet providers are in the thick of competing for a piece of $1.98 billion in federal funding to expand rural internet access.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II reverse auction began July 24. The purpose of the fund is to give internet providers incentive to build in rural areas of the country that otherwise wouldn’t make financial sense. Being a reverse auction, the FCC is searching for the lowest bids instead of the highest.
The state Broadband Enhancement Council has kept a close eye on fund developments, especially what areas are eligible for funding. The federal program is one of several funding sources aiming to improve rural internet access. An FCC report issued earlier this year ranked West Virginia 43rd among states in fixed broadband access.
See more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail