Revised Draft Target Areas and Regions for the BEAD Program

Today, the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Office of Broadband (WVDED) is publishing the set of revised draft Target Areas and Regions for its BEAD Program. As a part of this, WVDED is accepting comments from entities that have submitted a Pre-Application to the Program until June 18, 2024.

Program Background

The WVDED is tasked with deploying local and federal broadband funds, including $1.2 billion in federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (“BEAD”) funding for broadband development in West Virginia. BEAD is administered by the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (“NTIA”). This historic investment in broadband infrastructure and related digital inclusion efforts will support West Virginia’s universal broadband access vision to, “Achieve universal broadband coverage and digital equity throughout the State through aggressive broadband deployment goals and a commitment to closing the digital divide through robust equity and inclusion initiatives.”

Map Revisions and Further Comment

This revised map builds on and incorporates feedback received on the initial draft maps released on March 11, 2024. It includes changes to Target Locations that stem from the West Virginia’s BEAD Challenge Process and that reflect newly awarded or de-obligated broadband grant projects.  It includes adjustments to the defined Target Area and Target Region sets to reflect the updated set of Target Locations and other refinements of the Target Area and Target Region boundaries.  WVDED has submitted its Target Locations to NTIA for post-challenge approval.  Pending such approval, it is providing potential applicants to the program a further opportunity to refine the division of the Target Locations into specific Target Areas and Target Regions by proposing specific adjustments.

Downloads and Materials

A package in geodatabase and shapefile form is published and can be downloaded here. The package contains the revised Target Locations with their assigned Target Areas and Target Regions.  It also includes bounding polygons for the Target Areas and Target Regions for reference, and a Redline layer that commenters can use to respond to this comment opportunity.

How to Submit Comments

As noted above, only entities that have submitted Pre-Applications are eligible to provide feedback at this time. In this additional opportunity to comment on the revised maps, WVDED is soliciting comments of the following types:

  1. Specific proposals to subdivide Target Areas within the same Target Region (but not to result in more than 16 total Target Areas per Target Region)
  2. Specific minor boundary adjustments between Target Regions
  3. Specific proposals for how to divide proposed Target Regions with many (13 or more) proposed Target Areas
  4. Specific requests to NOT change certain Target Areas or Target Regions

Limiting comments to these specific types will assist the program by making it possible to review and act upon comments within the limited time remaining before launch of the full application period.

Please provide comments in the following manner:

  1. Commenters should review the revised set of Target Areas and Regions.
  2. Commenters may provide feedback in the form of redlines (i.e., lines illustrating the proposed changes) to the Target Areas and Regions using Esri’s ArcGIS Online (AGOL) tool. This requires an ESRI Editor license. Commenters seeking to use this method may contact WVDED for access to the AGOL tool. Alternatively, those who do not have such an ESRI license may enter redlines off-line using the downloadable template and an alternative GIS tool such as QGIS.
  3. Commenters should append comments to each of the redlines that describe the suggestion or intended feedback.
  4. To identify Target Regions and Areas commenters prefer not to see modified in response to other comments, please send a list of these by submitting a post to the BEAD Application Question Submission Form. Please specifically identify the Target Region number (i.e. Region 1, 2, etc.) or Target Area name (i.e. Area 1A, 1B, 2A, etc.)


Target Locations are individual unserved or underserved homes, businesses, or eligible community anchor institutions (CAIs). NTIA refers to these are broadband serviceable locations (BSLs).

Target Areas are clusters, or groups, of Target Locations.

Target Regions are groups of Target Areas.