For instance, Wyoming and McDowell county economic development groups applied for council funds to create computer applications and online maps about commercial sites and buildings, schools, water and sewer systems, hospitals, railroads and airports.
The Mercer County Sheriff's Department is requesting funds for online maps and police reports so residents can get information about crime in their communities.
Meanwhile, the West Virginia Humanities Council applied for a grant to upgrade its online West Virginia encyclopedia.
The groups must persuade the council that their projects will encourage people to subscribe to high-speed Internet service.
StratusWave Communications, a wireless Internet provider that received council grants last year, submitted the two other grant applications. The company hopes to bring broadband service to Shirley and Alma, two communities in Tyler County.
During the next 60 days, O'Hanlon said other companies and nonprofits would have a chance to submit competing grant proposals in the areas that the six applicants plan to serve. Last year, no organizations submitted competing applications.
Council members plan to award grants at a Dec. 18 meeting.
The Broadband Deployment Council might have to return any leftover funds -- an estimated $1.4 million -- to the state Legislature. Or the group could request grant applications again next year, O'Hanlon said.
The council also may work on other projects, such as helping counties and municipalities improve government websites and "stream" board meetings online. State lawmakers also have asked the broadband council to bolster distance-learning programs.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.