BEAD Allocations Announced June 26, 2023-West Virginia’s Allocation Exceeds $1.2 BillionJune 30, 2023
On June 26, 2023, the National Telecommunications Information Administration announced that West Virginia will receive $1,210,800,969 in Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding. Funds are provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The BEAD program will provide $42.5 billion nationwide to expand internet access.
The BEAD allocation is based upon the number of unserved Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) in West Virginia. According to the latest update of broadband availability data made on June 15, 2023, from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Broadband Map now shows 900,408 BSLs in West Virginia, of which 271,624 are unserved locations, for an unserved percentage of 30.17. West Virginia ranks second in the nation for the percentage of unserved locations, following Alaska’s percentage of 31.97.
Governor Justice directed the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Office of Broadband, to ensure that all West Virginians are accurately counted on the National Broadband Map. Through a series of FCC challenges, input from the public, direct consultation with Internet Service Providers, and field verification, West Virginia gained 86,833 unserved locations in the May 2023 release of Version 2 of the National Broadband Map. West Virginia’s gain of 86,833 unserved locations is the second highest in the Nation, following North Carolina’s gain of 114,718. Between May and June 15 of 2023, West Virginia gained an additional 26 unserved locations. The increase in unserved locations now totaling 86,860 resulted in a higher allocation of funds through the IIJA BEAD program.
West Virginia gained 86,859 additional unserved locations through the following activities:
- Fixed and Fabric Bulk Challenges
- Public Availability Challenges/Public Outreach
- Direct Consultation with ISPs
- Improvement of ISP Reporting by fixed wireless providers
- Physical Field Verification by the Office of Broadband
Mapping and Data Quick Facts
- West Virginia gained 86,860 unserved locations in the latest version of the National Broadband Map accounting for a total of 271,623 unserved locations.
- West Virginia gained the second highest number of unserved locations in the Nation in the Version 2 release of the National Broadband Map, following North Carolina at 114,718.
- West Virginia is second in the Nation for percentage of unserved locations at 30.17%, following Alaska’s 31.97%.
- West Virginia is 12th in the Nation for most unserved locations totaling 271,623.
- West Virginia’s per capita allocation is among the highest in the nation at $4,458 per unserved location.
- In the latest update of the National Broadband Map, the FCC identified 900,408 Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) in West Virginia. (900,408 BSLs /271,623 unserved locations = 30.17% unserved)
The National Broadband Map is improving and continuously changing. The map now reflects broadband availability as of June 15, 2023. Nationwide, the FCC has designated approximately 8.5 million homes and businesses as unserved by high-speed internet. This number represents about 7 percent of all locations included in the current map. FCC filings are updated twice per year; however, the National Broadband Map is updated bi-weekly due to availability and location challenges. Served and Unserved locations are being identified during every update.
Challenges via public or bulk (submitted by agencies) are having a meaningful impact. West Virginians can still submit challenges to the National Broadband Map at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home.
More information about the BEAD program is available here.