The bus project -- called an Internet Broadband Utilization Service, or iBUS -- would travel to West Virginia's most rural areas for the next 10 years, according to the company's proposal.
Visitors would learn how to use the Internet to "stay in touch with friends and family, search and apply for jobs, seek advice and save money online," the proposal states.
Martin, who has criticized the state government for using the $126.3 million in stimulus funds to create a broadband network that solely benefits Citynet competitor Frontier Communications, said bus visitors also would be asked to fill out a survey. The answers would help inform government officials about access to high-speed Internet in West Virginia.
"We'll see how broadband is working and how it's not working," Martin said.
Citynet also proposed spending $5.4 million to set up nine "GigaPoP" facilities that would funnel data and connect to the national Internet "backbone" network in Pittsburgh and Columbus. The data facilities would increase the state's Internet transport capacity, and subsequently drive down costs for customers who use broadband service, Martin said.
"We can effectively lower the cost of Internet 20 times," he said. "People will be able to get cheap, affordable Internet."
| Buckhannon-based Micrologic requested $1.8 million to upgrade its wireless-Internet tower network with new radios and other equipment. Micrologic President Emiel Butcher said the improvements would increase customers' download speeds significantly in up to eight counties.
"We'll directly impact your average Internet customer in the state," Butcher said Thursday.
| Wheeling-based StratusWave Communications has requested $875,000 to expand its existing 200-mile wireless broadband network.
| Foundation Telecommunications Inc. of Arkansas wants to spend $55,000 on a satellite broadband network. The company has a satellite network in Wyoming.
Given said some broadband project proposals that make the final cut might have to be bid out. She was putting together the project selection committee this week.
"We'll be following the appropriate purchasing rules in what we decide to do," she said.
West Virginia is using the bulk of the $126.3 million in stimulus funds to bring high-speed fiber-optic cable to more than 1,000 "community anchor institutions" -- schools, libraries, health centers, 911 centers, State Police barracks, county courthouses and state agencies.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.