Post-Award Notification Process for LEAD Round 3 Preliminary Approvals

Post-Award Notification Process for the Preliminary Approval Announcement made on February 7, 2024.

Governor Jim Justice has issued the preliminary approval for ten broadband projects to receive grant funding under the program Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD).

Internet Service Providers other than the applicant will receive an opportunity to submit data demonstrating that the ISP currently offers broadband service at 25/3 Mbps or greater to addresses within the Proposed Project Funded Service Area. Submissions must meet all the requirements described in the Process for Soliciting Information Regarding Unserved Areas, which the Department published on July 12, 2021. Location data must be submitted using the Response Template. The window to submit data to the Department will begin on Tuesday, February 13 at 8:00am and close on Tuesday, February 27 at 5:00pm.

Data submitted must meet the BDC Availability Data Specifications for submission to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of its Broadband Data Collection mapping initiative. ISPs may only submit data on existing service that they have reported to the FCC for the reporting period ending June 30, 2023, unless they can demonstrate that they are reporting on service made available on or after July 1, 2023. In addition, ISPs must include in any submission their existing fiber or cable network routes within the municipalities (or if an unincorporated area the county magisterial district) in which they are claiming to provide service.

ISPs submitting data in support of a claim of existing service may request that the Department treat as confidential information about the ISPs network that is not otherwise available to the public. However, the Department will not treat as confidential and may publish the locations claimed to be served by the submitting ISPs and the services, speeds, and prices that the ISP claims to offer at these locations, and any other information submitted by the ISP that the FCC publishes.

Based on submitted data, the Department may request that a preliminary awardee submit a revised project removing parts that solely benefit some or all addresses identified as served, the Department may withdraw the preliminary approval, or the Department may allow the preliminary award to proceed without changes. ISP submitted data alone will not be dispositive. In making its determination, the Department will also consider:

  • Previous opportunities that the ISP submitting information has had to provide data to the Department;
  • Any data provided by the preliminary awardee about availability of services in the proposed service area;
  • The extent of overlap between the proposed project and existing services, and the impact that modification of the proposed project would have on the ability of the proposed project to serve Targeted addresses;
  • Whether the proposed project will offer services superior to the existing available services, and especially if existing services offer speeds less than 100/20 Mbps;
  • Information about user experiences on the current network, to the extent available, such as whether users actually receive internet service at or above speed thresholds at all hours of the day, or whether factors other than speed such as latency or jitter, or deterioration of the existing connections make their user experience unreliable;
  • Whether the existing service is being delivered by legacy technologies, such as copper telephone lines (typically using Digital Subscriber Line technology) or early versions of cable system technology (DOCSIS 2.0 or earlier); and
  • Other available data including but not limited to documentation of existing broadband internet service performance, federal and/or state collected broadband data, user speed test results, and interviews with community members and business owners, and reports from community organizations.

If you are an ISP or represent an ISP wishing to participate in this process, please request the location data from The data will be made available in the following format:

  • Geodatabase
  • Shapefile
  • CSV

Please visit the Post-Award Notification section on the front page