Governor Justice Announces Additional Preliminary Approval for LEAD Round 2. Preliminary Approvals for LEAD Round 3 are anticipated to be made in early 2024. 

Charleston, W.Va. – Governor Jim Justice has issued the preliminary approval of approximately $5.5 million in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program of the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan. These funds will be used to deploy fiber-to-the-home infrastructure capable of delivering high speeds and reliable service.

Citynet, LLC will receive funding for their Pocahontas-Marlinton, Hillsboro, Slatyfork, Valley Head project located in Pocahontas County, extending broadband access to targeted locations in rural communities. This LEAD project will deploy approximately 150 miles of new fiber infrastructure to connect 601 targeted locations in Pocahontas County. Additionally, Citynet’s award will connect several locations in Valley Head, Randolph County. With Citynet’s contribution of $789,500 in matching funds, this project will create a total investment of $6,306,000. Preliminary Approvals for LEAD Round 3 are expected to be made in early 2024. 

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.

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.

Citynet, LLC

Pocahontas-Marlinton, Hillsboro, Slatyfork, Valley Head

LEAD Program Funds: $5,516,500

Matching Funds: $789,500

Total Project Cost: $6,306,000

Targeted Addresses: 601

Miles of Fiber: 150

Citynet, LLC will receive $5,516,500 in LEAD funds for the expansion of broadband connectivity to 601 targeted addresses in the counties of Pocahontas and Randolph. This project will serve locations in the communities of Marlinton, Hillsboro, Slatyfork, Valley Head, and Cass. The project will include the installation of approximately 150 miles fiber infrastructure to provide broadband service in the project area.