Broadband one step closer to reality for the Northern Panhandle

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(WTRF) – Broadband has been a need for years in the Northern Panhandle.

Now BDC, BHJ, RED and BELOMAR are one step closer to making it a reality.

This regional project will get broadband to Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke and Hancock Counties areas.

“What this will do is penetrate areas that are unserved. There are target areas that have been identified by the economic development office in Charleston. It is meant to reach these households and businesses.”

Michael Paprocki, Executive Director, Brooke Hancock Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission

This is roughly a $9.2 million dollar project and Brooke County Commissioners say the need for broadband continues to grow especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It really highlighted and amplified the need for this in our communities. So, it’s going to have a benefit for that. It’s also going to make this a more livable area. It’s going to make this a more attractive area for businesses to come to. So, we hope that the effects are going to be felt for decades.”

A.J. Thomas, Brooke County Commission President

All five counties need to come to an agreement on cost for the project by the end of this month for it to move forward. 

The committee is also traveling to each of the five counties to share the details on the broadband project.

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