WVGES Office Receives ARC Grant For Broadband Website Hub

The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced that the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey office is a recipient of a Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) grant for a West Virginia Broadband Development website hub. The West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council and the West Virginia Division of Highways are partner agencies in this joint venture. The partner agencies are committed to developing the structure and process needed to blend broadband development with the State’s unprecedented transportation construction initiative through the integration of data sources.

This grant will fund an online hub hosting information concerning prospective broadband deployment in West Virginia. Per POWER guidelines, initially 10 counties and their municipalities will have access to the broadband development hub that will host content related to broadband deployment due to their “economically-distressed” status. The data collected throughout this process will then be used to create a Guide to Broadband Development in West Virginia and a supplemental legal toolkit. Once the initial 10 counties’ broadband deployment needs have been addressed, access to the broadband development hub will be extended to the entire state.

This program is a Congressionally-funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America's energy production.