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The Federal Communications Commission has authorized more than $6.5 million in funding over the next decade to expand Gigabit-speed broadband to 898 unserved homes and businesses in West Virginia.

Part of the fourth wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction, the expansion will be provided by Citynet West Virginia, which will begin receiving funding for its fiber network later this month.

“As we continue to authorize funds to expand broadband in rural America, I am excited to see the benefits for rural residents who live all across the country, from Tribal lands in Wyoming to mountain communities in Appalachia, from the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, and from the Texas Panhandle to northern Minnesota,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a release.

“In West Virginia, this round of funding takes another step toward closing the digital divide, providing access to digital opportunity to nearly 900 unserved rural homes and businesses.”

In The Register-Herald coverage area, Greenbrier County will receive $709,517 over the next 10 years to provide 1 Gbps/500 Mbps to serve 57 homes or businesses, and Nicholas County will receive $1,419,730 over the next 10 years to provide 1 Gbps/500 Mbps to 211 homes or businesses. 

The release said the FCC authorized more than $121 million nationwide in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 36,579 unserved rural homes and businesses in 16 states in today’s wave of funding.

Providers must build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years, the release said. Buildout must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.

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