Gianato said the facilities -- the state calls them "community anchor institutions" -- serve as "hub locations" for the surrounding community.
He told Walden and Shimkus the high-end routers could be used for video conferencing, voice-over-Internet calling, "distance learning," "telemedicine," and other computer applications that require high-speed Internet connections.
"The size of the institution is less relevant than the amount of bandwidth and the number of services that may ultimately be required at that location," Gianato wrote.
In his letter, West Virginia's homeland security chief also disclosed that 383 routers remain in storage -- two years after they were purchased. He expects to ship all of the devices to public facilities by February 2013 -- the deadline for the state to spend the stimulus funds.
As part of the state's broadband expansion project, Frontier Communications also is bringing fiber-optic cable to many of the public facilities. The state has used the stimulus to pay Frontier $1.1 million for its work to date.
The state has spent $56.4 million from the $126.3 million federal grant, said Gianato, who leads the state's three-member stimulus "grant implementation team."
"The whole concept of the project is to position West Virginia for the future," Gianato said Wednesday. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Walden and Shimkus have asked the Department of Commerce's inspector general to investigate West Virginia's stimulus spending.
At a May hearing on Capitol Hill, the House Republican leaders grilled the Obama administration's telecommunications chief about West Virginia's router purchase.
Earlier this year, West Virginia Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette's office tapped ICF International, a Vienna, Va.-based consulting firm, to examine the state's use of the $126.3 million stimulus grant. The consultants have yet to deliver a report.
The state's broadband expansion project also includes building 12 microwave towers to improve communication for law enforcement and first responders.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.