The West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council was formed in 2016 to provide for and oversee the development of plans, processes, and procedures for extending broadband access into underserved and unserved areas of West Virginia.
Tilson provides support and consulting to the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council (WVBEC) by providing technical services and analytical expertise related to the policy development, strategic planning and project development dedicated to extending broadband access in West Virginia. Tilson supports Council staff and members, including legislative members of the Council.
Tilson played a major role in assisting the WVBEC with its 2019 update to the West Virginia Broadband Plan, available online and at the State’s Regional Planning and Development Council Offices, and continues to support the organization in working with electric utilities who are completing legislatively-mandated feasibility studies for the development of middle-mile broadband infrastructure.
Tilson has also assisted the WVBEC in an analysis of the right-of-way (ROW) fee structures in place in contiguous and demographically comparable states as a means of comparison to proposed ROW fee changes in West Virginia. We have assisted with providing precise communications strategy via the WVBEC ReConnect briefing. Tilson also provides consulting and educational outreach efforts on behalf of the WVBEC, aimed at Internet Service Providers and other Stakeholders throughout the State to encourage infrastructure improvement. Our consultants developed and held workshops on the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) to educate participants on the funding requirements; the application process; award-of-funds procedure; and ongoing program compliance.
Finally, Tilson is supporting the WVBEC and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development as they prepare to disperse federal dollars earmarked for broadband infrastructure improvement, including the ARPA Capital Projects Fund. This includes the development and implementation of four distinct grant programs totaling approximately $140 million dollars. These grant programs target different strategic aspects of the digital divide in WV: an existing network line extensions program; a rapid wireless deployment projects program; a local government/matching broadband funding incentive program; and a major broadband infrastructure investment program.
Tilson partners with public and private sector community leadership to plan, design, construct, and maintain viable and cost-effective broadband networks that are essential to communities’ safety, economy, health, and quality of life.
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