Capito, Justice join national broadband leaders in Charleston

PRESS RELEASE:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), on Friday, hosted Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Alan Davidson, a key U.S. broadband official, in Charleston, W.Va. for a series of meetings focused on the state’s current broadband capacities and needs.

Mr. Davidson’s visit comes after $1.2 billion was awarded to West Virginia for broadband expansion at the end of June 2023 through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

During Assistant Secretary Davidson’s visit, he and Senator Capito hosted several events with a variety of leaders and stakeholders in West Virginia, including Gov. Jim Justice (R-W.Va.), to discuss the state’s connectivity needs and the best ways to deploy the BEAD funding across West Virginia.

“Connecting West Virginia to reliable broadband and internet service has been a top priority of mine since coming to the Senate in 2015,” Sen. Capito said. “I was happy to welcome Assistant Secretary Davidson to West Virginia and show him the unique needs of our state when it comes to connectivity. I enjoyed the productive conversations about how we can work together at the federal, state, and local level to efficiently deploy the $1.2 billion in BEAD funding I worked to secure in the IIJA so we can ensure reliable broadband service across West Virginia.”

“My visit to West Virginia was a valuable opportunity to see how communities will benefit from the Internet for All initiative. I thank Senator Capito for bringing me to see firsthand the challenges West Virginia faces in making Internet service available, and the great work the state is already doing to address these challenges. Together we can connect every West Virginian to the tools they need to thrive in the modern digital economy,” Assistant Secretary Davidson said.

“This funding will accelerate West Virginia’s broadband revolution and help bridge the digital divide when it comes to high-speed internet access,” Gov. Justice said. “We worked extremely hard to update our part of the National Broadband Map, and because of this, we identified over 270,000 unserved locations, helping secure more funding for West Virginia. I truly thank Sen. Capito, whose leadership and collaboration with my administration improved the accuracy of our broadband maps, enabling targeted support for the areas in need. I’m confident we will continue seeing more and more goodness coming to West Virginia as we transform our state for the better.”

BACKGROUND:

During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in December 2021, Senator Capito personally asked the assistant secretary to visit West Virginia. In August 2022, Senator Capito hosted NTIA for a broadband summit in Wheeling, W.Va.

At the end of June 2023, West Virginia was awarded $1.2 billion for broadband expansion through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which Senator Capito helped secure during negotiations for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and is overseen by Assistant Secretary Davidson.

To watch the press conference click here.

A timeline of Senator Capito’s efforts to ensure accurate broadband mapping data and to secure the BEAD funding for West Virginia can be found here.

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