CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice announced this week that West Virginia has secured a combined total of $225,000 in federal grant funding that will be used to improve broadband and high-speed internet connectivity in Mason, Pocahontas and Wayne counties.
“I’ve been so fortunate, the past few weeks, to have been able to give out millions of dollars in grants all across the state to people and communities who truly need it to improve their way of life forevermore,” Justice said. “And in today’s world, one of the most significant things we can do – and that we have to do – is get our people in our rural areas connected to broadband and high-speed internet.”
According to a press release from Justice’s office, these funds are part of the total $13.1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars that have been dedicated for various broadband and infrastructure projects throughout West Virginia this year by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The $225,000 that will be distributed within Mason, Pocahontas and Wayne counties is the combined total of a trio of grants, with each county receiving single awards in the amount of $75,000.
Mason County’s $75,000 grant will be used to bring broadband internet service to the most underserved areas of the county.
According to the press release, county officials intend to build upon the presence of enhanced connectivity to facilitate better telemedicine options for residents, better online educational opportunities for students, and digital workforce training for displaced workers.
Overall, this project will improve connectivity to more than 26,000 households and businesses in Mason County.
A grand total of $2.4 million of the overall CDBG funds awarded in West Virginia will go toward similar broadband projects, benefiting thousands of people in 10 different counties across the state.
In total, 19 different communities throughout West Virginia have been awarded CDBG grants for this year. The remaining grant awardees will be announced in the near future.
Information for this article provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.