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W.Va. broadband council to fold Dec. 31

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A governor-appointed council charged with expanding high-speed Internet in West Virginia will be disbanded at year’s end, after state lawmakers rejected the group’s request for additional funding.

The Broadband Deployment Council wanted $5 million to distribute for projects that bring high-speed broadband to rural communities.

“We didn’t get any funding,” said Dan O’Hanlon, the council’s chairman. “In better times, we might have been given some additional money to do more successful projects to get broadband to everyone, but these are difficult budget times for the state.”

The council recently canceled its June meeting.

“There’s nothing to do except report on [past] grants,” O’Hanlon said. “We’ve sent all of our required reports to the Legislature. We’ll do the same thing this December, and then we’re done.”

At then-Gov. Joe Manchin’s request, state lawmakers established the Broadband Deployment Council five years ago, setting aside $5 million for the group. Legislators have balked at providing additional funds over the years…


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