2014 West Virginia Broadband Conference highlights NTIA grant - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

2014 West Virginia Broadband Conference highlights NTIA grant

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At the West Virginia Broadband Conference: Investing in the Future, at the Charleston Marriott Town Center Aug. 19, presenters highlighted the multiple sectors in the Mountain State's 11 planning and development regions that received monetary funds through a grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United State Department of Commerce.

According to Michael Hohn, director and state geologist with West Virginia Geological and Economics Survey, the grant has three parts including: mapping broadband, planning and technical assistance grants. The intent of the Technical Assistance Grant Program is to fund broadband-related training programs, education and online application development.

According to Hohn, West Virginia Geological and Economics Survey used the grant money to fund 72 projects ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 per project.

Federal funding, which was part of a stimulus act, will continue until January. The project, which was originally supposed to end in another month will continue.

Hohn said the money for the five year project came to his agency, which then conducted a review process.

“We actually did two rounds of soliciting proposals and we received about three times the number of proposals we could actually fund,” he said.

Individuals weren't eligible to submit proposals. It was limited to groups like non-profits, educational groups and governmental groups, who had to provide cost shares, Hohn said.

“They proposed…and representatives from the regions reviewed the proposals and scored them and then a committee, my agency, went through them and selected the ones with the highest scores and best proposals and those were the ones that were funded,” he said.

Julie Colaw, fifth grade science teacher at Petersburg Elementary School, co-coordinator of technology for grant county schools and presenter, conducted a “Common Core Implementation Workshops and Webinars” session that focused on using the increased technology making its way into classrooms. Other sessions included Broadband Technical Assistance Grant for E-Commerce Training,” Online Filing for Personal Property Forms” and “Ethernet Accessibility of Sensors and High Speed Internet for Water/Waste Water and Industrial Applications.”