Locally-Driven Broadband Solutions

A Project of Generation West Virginia and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

When it comes to broadband, West Virginia is one of the least-connected states in the nation.

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.

15%

of West Virginians have no access to internet services that meet the minimum speed for daily functionality.

More recent data collected on actual home internet speeds suggest that this may be a gross underestimation.

25%

of West Virginia households choose not to have a broadband internet subscription.

Connectivity is not an issue of availability alone—quality and affordability also play a major role.

There are more opportunities than ever to leverage federal resources to bring broadband internet to remote, underserved areas.

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.

Our Locally-Driven Broadband Solutions project helps local leadership teams expand and/or improve access to broadband in their communities.

We believe that local contexts demand local solutions, and that public-private partnerships between municipal government, regional planning and development councils, and internet service providers are the key to successful broadband projects.

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.

Get Involved.

Whether you are a local government official, healthcare leader, education leader, nonprofit leader, or community member, we would love to talk with you and help you get plugged in to our resource network. You can contact us at broadband@generationwv.org.

The Team

Mary Hunt
Project Direction and Management

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 Bialik
Data Analysis Support

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
Community Navigation Support and Project Management

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 Roper
Project Direction and Management

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 Badesch
Federal Funding Navigation and Grant Writing Assistance

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
Project Scoping and Technical Support

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.

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