12-7-12 Report: Sandy damaged $126M broadband project

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The state Office of Technology says Superstorm Sandy significantly damaged a new fiber-optic Internet network being built in West Virginia with $126.3 million in federal stimulus funds.

The damage has prompted state officials to consider asking the federal government to extend the deadline for completing the high-speed broadband project. The state now has until Jan. 31 to finish the work, or risk losing any unspent funds.

The extension would likely allow Frontier Communications to build more fiber to public facilities. The state also would have time to construct additional wireless towers that serve a statewide emergency communications network.

West Virginia chief technology officer Gale Given says officials are assessing the damage.

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