WV Press Release Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., a member of both the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Appropriations Committees, and Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Monday announced that West Virginia will receive $1,210,800,969.85in funding through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program to deploy high-speed internet networks.
The BEAD program, and the funding for it, was made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Additionally, Senator Capito has worked diligently to not only advocate for the creation of this program in the IIJA, but also to ensure accurate mapping data. Specifically, she has raised concerns with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) about the past inaccuracies in their broadband maps, given broadband funding through the IIJA is directly tied to these maps.
“Connecting West Virginia has been a top priority of mine since Day One in the U.S. Senate, and today’s announcement has the ability to lead us to a major breakthrough in that effort,” Senator Capito said. “I have consistently worked with those involved in this process at both the state and federal levels to ensure our maps are as accurate as possible and West Virginia receives its fair share of funding. This funding, which is the largest amount of broadband funding awarded to the state to date, will assist in our efforts to provide communities with the resources they need to improve connectivity overall. We are on the cusp of a major breakthrough – one that I am committed to seeing though.”
Senator Capito has led efforts in ensuring West Virginia’s broadband maps are as accurate as possible so funding can be directed to the areas that need it most. When the first version of the FCC’s national broadband map came out in November 2022, West Virginia’s underserved and unserved data was far off. West Virginia worked hard to improve the data for the updated map that came out in May 2023. Over 86,000 challenges were accepted and West Virginia was one of the top 10 most improved states. This updated map found that just over 271,000 serviceable locations in West Virginia do not have broadband access.
A timeline of Senator Capito’s efforts to ensure accurate broadband mapping data and secure this funding can be found here.
BROADBAND EQUITY, ACCESS, AND DEPLOYMENT (BEAD) PROGRAM:
The BEAD Program provides resources to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs. The program, which was created through IIJA, is a federal grant program that aims to get all Americans online by funding partnerships between states or territories, communities, and stakeholders to build infrastructure where we need it to and increase adoption of high-speed internet. BEAD prioritizes unserved locations that have no internet access or that only have access under 25/3 Mbps and underserved locations only have access under 100/20 Mbps.