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West Virginia gets funds to provide internet access to public school students

By Steven Allen Adams, The Intelligencer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When it comes to broadband expansion in West Virginia, the millions sent to state and local governments through the American Rescue Plan or FCC rural broadband fund get all the headlines, but a new program will give students and their families better and affordable internet access.

Members of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Joint Committee on Technology received updates Tuesday on the progress of broadband expansion efforts from Mitch Carmichael, secretary of the Department of Economic Development.

Speaking to joint technology committee members Tuesday afternoon, Carmichael said the state has pending federal grant applications for broadband programs, excluding the Federal Communication Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the American Rescue Plan, totaling more than $100 million.

One of those programs is the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). The $7.17 billion program will allow public schools and libraries to offer wifi hotspots for students to take home to access broadband. The program also covers reasonable costs for laptops and tablet computers, as well as modems and routers…

To read more: https://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2021/09/west-virginia-gets-funds-to-provide-internet-access-to-public-school-students/

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