Broadband infrastructure is expensive to build, and its profitability is highly dependent upon the number of subscribers. For states like West Virginia with rugged terrain and low population density, providing service is expensive. These high costs not only mean higher monthly rates for West Virginia consumers, but they also make it harder for internet companies to provide quality service.
More recent data collected on actual home internet speeds suggest that this may be a gross underestimation.
Connectivity is not an issue of availability alone—quality and affordability also play a major role.
Generation West Virginia (GWV), in partnership with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation (Benedum), has launched the Locally-Driven Broadband Solutions initiative to overcome these barriers and start enacting tangible change in local communities.
We provide wrap-around technical assistance and support in navigating the process, including grant writing, strategic planning, and partnership development tailored to local needs. We want to strengthen the work that’s already happening in communities by filling in capacity gaps and facilitating partnerships across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
With the help and expertise of CTC Technology & Energy, we’ve created Bringing Broadband to Your Community: A Process Guide for Communities. The guide lays out eight basic steps for a successful local broadband project. The steps are based on CTC’s experience in local broadband projects across the country, especially in rural and suburban areas.
Mary is the Program Director for Community and Economic Development at the Benedum Foundation. She knows that broadband access is foundational to the state’s success and leads this initiative in partnership with Generation West Virginia to reduce barriers communities have previously faced in getting the internet infrastructure they need.
Logan is a research analyst at the Benedum Foundation. She supports the Foundation and its partners with data analysis to develop and communicate strategy.
John Golden, as Founder of Three Sixty Strategies, has been helping communities and public and private property owners in West Virginia, and across the country, solve their broadband and wireless communication challenges for nearly 25 years. He helps communities navigate the process of articulating their broadband needs and mapping out a path to solutions.
Natalie leads the Locally Driven Broadband Solutions Initiative at Generation West Virginia to support communities in building broadband solutions that work for them and increase accessibility and reliability of this critical infrastructure in the state.
Ashley is a Partner at Sustainable Strategies DC. She provides federal funding expertise and supports grant-writing and advocacy to secure resources for broadband projects.
CTC Technology & Energy is an independent communications and IT engineering consulting firm with more than 30 years of experience. They support WV communities in developing broadband plans that fit their needs and goals and providing technical support and assistance throughout the project identification, development and implementation stages.