West Virginia Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin announced that the state is set to receive over $362 million from the FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. The state will use funds to expand broadband over the next decade, reported MetroNews.
“Today’s announcement is great news for West Virginia,” Manchin said in a release Monday. “This first phase of funding will help our state deploy broadband access to nearly 120,000 locations…bringing internet access to West Virginians in rural and mountainous regions of the state.”
Inside Towers reported a total of 180 bidders nationwide won auction support through the RDOF, which will be distributed over 10 years. In West Virginia, nine providers won the auction bids. The senators are committed to ensuring that providers can “carry out their promises of providing gigabit level service to West Virginia residents,” according to Capito.
Manchin added, “This funding will connect unserved areas across the state, helping students complete their schoolwork, ensuring our small businesses can compete nationally and globally, and providing seniors and Veterans with access to telehealth services. While this is great news, we still have more to do to help all West Virginians get reliable, affordable broadband access…We must guarantee that future federal funding is distributed using updated broadband coverage maps to ensure that areas in West Virginia that were excluded from this round get their fair share in the next auction.”