|By Bob Weaver|
Broadband service will be expanded to about 36,000
homes and businesses in rural West Virginia, according to a press release from the Federal Communications Commission, through the Connect America Fund.
The Connect America Fund has earmarked $22 million for West Virginia to Frontier Communications to use the funds in rural sections of the Mountain State, saying it will connect more than 87,000 people who lack service.
Just what that means to rural, under-served counties is not clear.
Following a Hur Herald public information inquiry to Frontier's communication director Dan Page, asking what specific improvements or expansion would be made with Connect America funding in Calhoun and regional counties, he said, "Frontier typically announces projects after completion."
Frontier has been evasive about specifics with earlier requests.
This request asked to define what specific improvements or expansion Frontier would be made in Calhoun, Gilmer, Clay, Roane, Ritchie, Braxton counties.
Frontier appears to be stonewalling legislators, who want to see their maps regarding previous broadband expansion.
"I think we're running into a brick wall that's being put up," said Delegate Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, Monday afternoon during a meeting of the joint Committee on Technology.
The Connect America Fund is part of the FCC's initiative to bring
broadband access to rural communities.
Nationwide, the FCC authorized
nearly $260 million to connect almost 1 million rural Americans who
have no service.
Meanwhile, CBS News/Dutch Division is coming to Calhoun in January to do a story on the lack of connectivity, and the selling of "broadband" that is not up to broadband speeds.
See W.Va. lawmakers want to see broadband maps by Dave Boucher for the Charleston
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