CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — For years, West Virginia had among the worst cell phone and broadband service in the nation, but now that may change in a big way. And it could mean big money coming from Washington, D.C.

For years the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been trying to get a handle on broadband and cell phone gaps in the United States. In part, due to rugged terrain, West Virginia often underperformed most states.

Now, the newest FCC maps, indicate more than 271,000 locations in the Mountain State have “Dead Spots” where there is no service.

West Virginia is among the ten worst states for broadband and cell phones. The good news is that $65 billion will be available to fix these gaps. FCC commissioners even came to West Virginia to witness the problems first-hand.

“I was up atop Canaan Valley one day, too, and said, ‘We got coverage. Your map says we got coverage, why don’t you make a phone call?’ And they couldn’t get any calls out. So, we showed them the maps were wrong. We started challenging all the maps, like, I say in 2015,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia.

“The full deployment of broadband is essential to our economic development, to our quality of life, to the future of our families, really, and our businesses,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.

The broadband repair funding was included in the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill approved in 2022. It was structured so the states with the worst problems would be eligible for the largest grants. Again, that bodes well for West Virginia.

Senators Manchin and Capito said that broadband funding announcements for each state could be coming in the next few weeks.