(WVVA) Broadband providers will soon be able to provide enhanced service through parts of West Virginia.
Facebook has plans to build a fiber optic cable from Ashburn, Virginia to Columbus, Ohio, creating a 275 mile route though West Virginia.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice joined representatives from Facebook Monday in Charleston for the big announcement.
“Making sure West Virginia has reliable, high-speed internet has been a priority of mine since I was first elected to Congress,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. “Today’s announcement with Facebook is an important step toward ensuring our state has the critical infrastructure to support broadband deployment, and I know it will help so many in our state, especially the rural communities that are unserved.”
“Broadband development is absolutely critical to moving West Virginia forward,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “An investment of this magnitude in our state is really big news and will help us continue to show the world how great West Virginia truly is.”
The project will connect two major internet exchanges. Broadband providers “will be able to expand middle-mile networks into communities along the route.”
“Access to broadband internet drives economic growth and opportunity, but there are still too many unserved communities, including here in West Virginia,” said Kevin Salvadori, Director of Network Investments, Facebook. “We see the need for long haul fiber as an opportunity to provide critical infrastructure where it did not previously exist. To that end, we’ve designed our project to attract potential local and regional providers to expand broadband internet access for the communities surrounding our builds.”
Construction will begin this year and it will take 18-24 months to complete.
“There’s no one thing that can be done to solve our connectivity for everybody in the state of West Virginia,” said Gov. Justice. ” But this is a big start.”