December 09, 2021

Manchin Announces $1.5 Million to Expand Broadband Access in Wayne County

 Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $1,551,200 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program to the Wayne County Commission. This funding will support the first phase of the Wayne County Broadband Development Project, which will deploy 16.8 miles of broadband fiber, bringing Internet to 796 households and 191 businesses in Wayne County.

“Delivering reliable, affordable broadband to every West Virginia holler continues to be one of my top priorities, and my Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that is now law will deliver around $600 million to expand broadband access in West Virginia alone. I am pleased ARC is investing over $1.5 million to support the first phase of the Wayne County Broadband Development Project. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this investment and will continue to work with ARC and other organizations to provide broadband access for every West Virginian,” said Senator Manchin.

“ARC’s founding mission in 1965 was to build an Appalachian highway system. But now there is a new highway challenge facing our residents—the push for a broadband highway that will connect everyone, all the way to the last mile of our rural roads,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “This grant is a step forward in ensuring that all Appalachians can connect to reliable and affordable broadband services, and will help the residents of Wayne County access telehealth services, participate in new learning opportunities, and compete in a modern global marketplace.”

The ARC POWER Program is a Congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing energy sector.