Let's Get WV Connected! Broadband in West Virginia

Funding/Financing/Money

Why is funding needed? Existing telecoms and ISP’s won’t spend the money to bring the service to rural areas because there are not enough potential customers, not enough sales, and not enough revenue to cover the cost of stringing wire or fiber. In other words, unfavorable ROI.

The Fix

If various groups can leverage government money in the form of grants or grants mixed with donations and/or loans, then this money can build the infrastructure needed (towers, wires, fiber runs) and then the telecoms/ISPs can lease or buy connectivity over existing wire/fiber. Sort of like a private/public partnership: build a public road and every can drive on it.

Sources

Here’s a list of potential funding sources. We’ll expound on these sources later, but for now, here is an incomplete list. Also, each of these sources comes with varying requirements. The magic happens when you blend requirements of one source with another to fully fund a project.


RDOF – Rural Development Opportunity Fund (federal funding)
USDA (ReConnect) Grant
Small Cities Block Grant (SCBG)
ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission)
EDA (Economic Development Administration)
CARES Act – $50 million
RUS (Rural Utilties Services – a division of Dept. of Agriculture)
WVEDA (West Virginia Economic Development Authority) Loan Program and Loan Guarantee Program
WVIJDC (West Virginia Infrastrcuture Jobs Development Council) Loan and Loan Forgiveness Program
Connect America Fund
Connect America Mobility Fund
Remote Areas Fund – $100,000 million per year
Healthcare Connect Fund
Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program
Telecommunication Infrastructure Loan Program
Distance Learning Telemedicine Grants