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Consultants Deliver Broadband Strategic Plan for Monongalia County Consultants Deliver Broadband Strategic Plan for Monongalia County

Consultants Deliver Broadband Strategic Plan for Monongalia County

In May 2021, Monongalia County hired Ice Miller Whiteboard, Lit Communities and DLZ as consultants to develop a comprehensive broadband strategic plan. The goal of the strategic plan was to identify areas of Monongalia County that continue to struggle with broadband infrastructure and coverage and develop a strategy for infrastructure investment to provide top-tier, affordable and reliable internet service to residents, businesses and anchor institutions countywide.
 
The consultant team spent the last nine months developing the strategic plan based on their collective experience, knowledge and tasks outlined in the original request for proposal. In addition to several stakeholder meetings and townhall events, the consultants released a countywide survey to gauge interest in a municipal network in conjunction with the Monongalia County Commissioners. Nearly 2,000 Monongalia County residents and businesses responded to the survey, with 86 percent of respondents indicating that they would be likely to sign up for another service if available and 96 percent reporting that it is important that the county work to bring better broadband to the community. 
 
The final report was delivered to the Monongalia County Commissioners on February 19, 2022. Overall, the consultants recommend that the county invest in a middle mile fiber backbone network. This network could be funded by utilizing federal infrastructure dollars, supplemented with state and federal grants. Such a network could then be made available to private providers to expand last-mile connectivity in the county, both wired and wireless, and the county could consider becoming a last-mile provider in certain locations. The consultants also recommend that the county explore last-mile wireless and fiber network solutions, particularly targeted to areas in Western Monongalia County. The recommendations are not exclusive from one another and, ideally, should happen in conjunction with one another. To read the full report, click here.
 
“This strategic plan has been a huge project for our county, staff and consultants,” said Monongalia County Commissioner Sean Sikora. “I am so proud of the work we have done to develop a plan and next steps for our county and residents. As we all know, staying connected has become even more important in our virtual and digital world–we need broadband to grow and thrive. We are one step closer to providing better broadband service to more of our residents.”
 
If you have questions about the report, please contact Monongalia County Secretary and Grant Coordinator Collene Coon at info@monongaliacounty.gov.
 
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About Ice Miller Whiteboard
Ice Miller Whiteboard is a consulting group with roots in one of the legal industry’s most forward-thinking providers, Ice Miller LLP. Ice Miller Whiteboard is designed to deliver complete, tailored solutions from within one high-level, strategic organization. The group brings a distinct perspective to the many industries it serves. Ice Miller Whiteboard professionals understand the intricacies of economic growth and development. Learn more about Ice Miller Whiteboard.

About DLZ
With over 700 people in 28 offices, DLZ is one of the top consulting firms in the architectural, engineering and surveying industry. The firm was ranked by Engineering News Record as Midwest Design Firm of the Year in 2016 and currently ranked as one of the Top 150 in the U.S. and the 11th largest in the Midwestern United States. DLZ professionals work together as a team to safely deliver a wide range of project sizes and types across the country. Learn more about DLZ.
 
About Lit Communities
Lit Communities is both a forward-thinking builder and operator of next-generation network infrastructure and a consultancy that guides communities across the country through the complicated process of deploying their own open application fiber optic utilities. Lit Communities believes that by separating the network infrastructure from the services provided on it, a more resilient and consumer-friendly environment is created. This approach makes otherwise prohibitively expensive networks feasible to build in communities of all sizes. Learn more about Lit Communities.
 
This press release is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
 
 
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