Waldo said Frontier also offers satellite Internet service, so technically every household in West Virginia has access to broadband.
"If our mission is to increase broadband access, we need to consider satellite," he said. "We have hundreds of [satellite] customers."
Wireless companies have requested $3.1 million in grants to build towers, while nonprofit groups applied for an additional $923,000 in funds to publicize the benefits of high-speed Internet.
Frontier has ties to four of the projects -- submitted by Pendleton County nonprofit Future Generations -- designed to increase broadband demand.
At least four broadband council members -- and a member of a committee reviewing the applications -- have connections to companies or organizations seeking grant funds.
Waldo questioned whether council members with potential conflicts should have served on the grant application review committee. Waldo, who did not sit on the subcommittee, suggested the council seek an advisory opinion from the state Ethics Commission.
"This council is under intense scrutiny," he said. "I want to make sure we do everything above board."
Council members who served on the review committee said Wednesday that they didn't take part in any discussions about projects they had ties to. They noted that the state ethics agency already had given the green light to the subcommittee's application review process.
"They had bright line rules that they followed," O'Hanlon said.
"There was no violation that I heard from any member," added Jan Fox, who serves on the council and review committee.
Also Wednesday, two council members -- Jim Martin and Jim Nester -- requested copies of engineering maps that were used to bring fiber-optic cable to more than 1,000 public facilities in West Virginia as part of a separate $126.3 million federal stimulus project. Martin said the maps would help council members with their vote next month on pending broadband project applications. He has asked for the maps during at least two previous meetings.
O'Hanlon said he would ask state officials overseeing the statewide broadband project to provide the information by the Dec. 12 meeting.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.