Broadband Internet Project in West Virginia Nears Completion

In one of many projects to expand high speed internet throughout rural parts of the United States, Frontier Communications is wrapping up work on projects expanding fiber optic internet access throughout West Virginia. 583 miles of fiber-optic cable has been installed to schools, libraries and other public facilities, with seven miles of cable remaining to be installed.

More from the Marietta Times:

The work is part of the state’s $126.3 million federal stimulus project to expand broadband service. Frontier is to receive about $45 million for its work. As of Friday, the state had paid the company $9.6 million.

“The Office of Technology is in the process of working with the grant implementation team to ensure accuracy and documentation of all invoices and payments,” Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown told the newspaper.

Holley-Brown said Frontier bills the state when it completes fiber construction at each location.

“A large proportion of the Frontier fiber builds has been invoiced, and some of those are being processed for payment,” Holley-Brown said. “However, … they do not submit the invoice until all work on that specific build is completed.”

A Frontier spokesman referred questions to the state officials overseeing the federal stimulus project.

Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato notified the federal government last fall that West Virginia expected to have $9 million left over from the $126.3 million project. State officials last week revised the estimate to $4 million in unspent funds. Any money that isn’t spent will be returned to the federal government.

Projects like these are going on across the country, with high speed internet providers teaming with local and state governments to bring internet access to rural areas, much as in the past phone lines and electricity were brought to outlying areas. More on this essential project throughout the United States from the TV, Internet and Phone Blog to come.

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