WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – A new incentive program is opening the doorway up to expand broadband capabilities throughout communities across the state.
Commissioners in Fayette and Summers Counties have recently been holding special meetings to approve it and to discuss the funding process for the program.
The new program, Gig Ready, is being coordinated through the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council, and the State Broadband Office.
As part of the program, applicants must provide a 25 percent match, leading commissioners in Fayette County to contribute a portion of $5.5 million in matching funds out of the $22 million dollar broadband project they are applying for.
Fayette County Commissioner Allison Taylor says the matching funds will come from the $8.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds the commission received.
In Summers County, commissioners have approved their program and have set their matching funds to no greater than $250,000 as they prepare for a possible $1 million dollar broadband project.
The Gig Ready program is being carried out in two phases– the first phase is technical assistance while the second phase is about identifying the funding sources.
The communities applying for the program can expect funding to be approved between February and July of 2022.