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Gov. Justice announces nearly $33 million in preliminary approval of Line Extension Advancement and Development program award

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Justice has announced the preliminary approval of ten awards totaling nearly $33 million through Round 3 of the Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program of the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan.

These awards will improve access to high-speed broadband and reliable service in nine counties throughout the state and represent a significant milestone in West Virginia’s continued commitment to ensuring that every West Virginian has access to reliable broadband service. 

“These grants represent not just an investment in infrastructure but in the future of our communities and the prosperity of our residents,” Gov. Justice said. 

Four internet service providers (ISPs) will install approximately 660 miles of new infrastructure, connecting over 5,200 targeted locations that previously lacked access to reliable broadband services.

LEADS funds are being awarded to Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. for fiber projects in Wayne, Putnam, and Cabell counties; Citynet, LLC for fiber projects in Wetzel, Ohio, and Marshall counties; Comcast Cable Communications, LLC for fiber projects in Mineral County; and to Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc. for fiber projects in Pendleton and Pocahontas counties. 

Funding for the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, LEAD program is provided through the West Virginia Legislature’s allocation of $100 million to create the West Virginia Broadband Development Fund. The Fund includes $90 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $10 million in state general revenue funds. Funds are also derived through the ARPA Capital Projects Fund, which includes $136 million for broadband development in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Office of Broadband, will administer program funds. Under the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan, projects selected for award will receive a Preliminary Approval Announcement, which will be published on http://broadband.wv.gov

Internet Service Providers other than the applicant will receive an opportunity to submit data to the West Virginia Department of Economic Development demonstrating that the ISP currently offers broadband service at 25/3 Mbps or greater to addresses within the Proposed Project Funded Service Area. Data submitted must meet all the requirements described in the Process for Soliciting Information Regarding Unserved Areas, which the Department published on July 12, 2021.

Funds were awarded to the following:

Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc.  
Putnam: Hurricane, Culloden, Scott Depot 
LEAD Program Funds: $4,559,777

Matching Funds: $361,500  
Total Project Cost: $4,921,277 
Targeted Addresses: 537 
Miles of Fiber: 56 

Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. will receive $4,559,777 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 537 targeted addresses in Cabell and Putnam Counties. This project will serve locations in the communities of Culloden, Hurricane, and Scott Depot. The project will include the installation of approximately 56 miles of fiber  infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. 
Wayne-Cabell Expansion 
LEAD Program Funds: $4,315,394

Matching Funds: $597,500 
Total Project Cost: $4,912,894 
Targeted Addresses: 815 
Miles of Fiber: 51 

Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. will receive $4,315,394 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 815 targeted addresses in Wayne and Cabell Counties. This project will serve locations in the communities of Huntington, Wayne, Lavalette, Barboursville, and East Lynn. The project will include the installation of approximately 51 miles of fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. 
Wayne County Expansion 
LEAD Program Funds: $4,205,571

Matching Funds: $711,500 
Total Project Cost: $4,917,071 
Targeted Addresses: 1,281 
Miles of Fiber: 56 

Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. will receive $4,205,571 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 1,281 targeted addresses in Wayne County. This project will serve locations in the communities of Wayne, Prichard, Kenova, Huntington, and Fort Gay. The project will include the installation of approximately 56 miles of fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Citynet, LLC 
Marshall-Wetzel Expansion  
LEAD Program Funds: $7,488,000

Matching Funds: $1,725,000 
Total Project Cost: $9,213,000 
Targeted Addresses: 1,357 
Miles of Fiber: 211 

Citynet, LLC will receive $7,488,000 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 1,357 targeted addresses in Wetzel, Marshall, and Ohio Counties. This project will serve locations in the communities of Wheeling, Cameron, Proctor, Glen Easton, New Martinsville, Moundsville, Littleton, Hundred, Bethlehem, Mozart, and Metz. The project will include the installation of approximately 211 miles of fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area.

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC 
Mineral North 
LEAD Program Funds: $3,572,213

Matching Funds: $1,346,628 
Total Project Cost: $4,918,841 
Targeted Addresses: 270 
Miles of Fiber: 72 
Miles of Cable: 8 

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC will receive $3,572,213 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 270 targeted addresses in Mineral County. This project will serve locations in the communities of Reeses Mill, Headsville, and Champwood. The project will include the installation of approximately 72 miles of fiber and 8 miles of  cable infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC 
Mineral South 
LEAD Program Funds: $3,355,443

Matching Funds: $1,956,745 
Total Project Cost: $5,312,188 
Targeted Addresses: 378 
Miles of Fiber: 78 
Miles of Cable: 9 

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC will receive $3,355,443 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 378 targeted addresses in Mineral County. This project will serve locations in the communities of Claysville, Antioch, and Ridgeville. The project will include the installation of approximately 78 miles of fiber and 9 miles of cable infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC 
Mineral: Keyser, New Creek, Burlington 
LEAD Program Funds: $3,325,088

Matching Funds: $814,465 
Total Project Cost: $4,139,553 
Targeted Addresses: 291 
Miles of Fiber: 81 
Miles of Cable: 9 

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC will receive $3,325,088 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 291 targeted addresses in Mineral County. This project will serve locations in the communities of Burlington, Keyser, and New Creek. The project will include the installation of approximately 81 miles of fiber and 9 miles of cable infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area.

Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc.  
Pendleton: Brandywine 
LEAD Program Funds: $401,025

Matching Funds: $120,400 
Total Project Cost: $521,425 
Targeted Addresses: 119 
Miles of Fiber: 5 

Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc. will receive $401,025 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 119 targeted addresses in Pendleton County. This project will serve locations in the community of Brandywine. The project will include the installation of approximately 5 miles of fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc.  
Pendleton: Upper Tract 
LEAD Program Funds: $899,007 

Matching Funds: $105,700 
Total Project Cost: $1,004,707 
Targeted Addresses: 122 
Miles of Fiber: 16 

Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc. will receive $899,007 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 122 targeted addresses in Pendleton County. This project will serve locations in the community of Upper Tract. The project will include the installation of approximately 16 miles of fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area. 

Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc.  
Pocahontas: Green Bank, Arbovale, Durbin 
LEAD Program Funds: $611,315 

Matching Funds: $82,000 
Total Project Cost: $693,315 
Targeted Addresses: 117 
Miles of Fiber: 9 

Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone, Inc. will receive $611,315 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 117 targeted addresses in Pocahontas County. This project will serve locations in the communities of Green Bank, Arbovale, and Durbin. The project will include the installation of approximately 9 miles of fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area.

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