WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announcement that Citynet will receive $53 million in funding through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Citynet is the first West Virginia company to be approved for this specific funding.
“In order to improve connectivity in West Virginia, we need to make sure we have every single opportunity available to do so,” Senator Capito said. “One of those opportunities is the RDOF reverse auction. It’s great news that Citynet out of Bridgeport is one of the local providers—and the first in West Virginia—that will receive a significant portion of this funding. This funding will be instrumental in helping Citynet assist in broadband deployment, helping us better connect West Virginia. While we can all agree that more granular data is needed—and we are working as we speak to improve these broadband maps—it’s important to seize this opportunity instead of holding off. This will be a gradual process, but it will result in progress toward better-connectivity.”
“More help is on the way to households without broadband,” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “This is an important program for getting more Americans connected to high-speed internet, and we are continuing careful oversight of this process to ensure that providers meet their obligations to deploy in areas that need it.”
The RDOF is one of the most ambitious steps the FCC has taken towards bridging the digital divide, which will provide $20.4 billion over the next 10 years for high speed fixed broadband service to rural homes and small businesses. The largest portion of these funds—$16 billion—will be made available for Phase 1 of RDOF. Phase II will make available the remaining $4.4 billion that will also be deployed through a reverse auction at a date yet to be determined. According to the FCC, West Virginia has over 121,000 initially eligible locations for Phase 1 funding that are completely unserved with voice and 25/3Mbps or higher broadband.
Last year, Senator Capito spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of RDOF and rural broadband. Click here to watch the speech.
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