West Virginia broadband officials find themselves flush with cash and no one to give it to. The Broadband Deployment Council has $1.7 million in grant funds to give away and is seeking more applicants.
CivSource has been tracking the broadband expansion in West Virginia, which has been challenging at best. The state encountered trouble very early on when it was discovered that many of the sites on its original broadband expansion plan already had broadband. Following a federal investigation, West Virginia officials resubmitted a plan with a revised location list. After still more investigations, and reports that the Governor held up the release of a negative audit done by the state legislature, it seems as though the state may be in trouble of a different sort.
The Charleston Gazette, a local newspaper reports that the council received only six applications for these broadband funds, and that those requests fell well short of the total grant money available to give. Council members are giving potential new applications until December 15, 2013 to apply for funds.
Last year the council distributed $2 million in grant awards, but any excess funds left over this year will likely be returned to the state legislature. According to a state audit, so far $14 million has been wasted on broadband efforts in West Virginia.