Martin also has criticized state officials for spending $24 million on oversized Internet routers for more than 1,000 public facilities. The routers cost $22,600 each.
Earlier this year, the state Legislative Auditor released a scathing report, finding that state officials wasted at least $7.9 million - and up to $15 million - on the router purchase. The state bought routers designed for universities and large businesses, but installed many of the devices in small libraries with only a handful of computer terminals.
Citynet says the GigaPoP facilities would provide West Virginia with direct connections to the lightning-fast national Internet system, according to the proposal submitted to the state technology office.
The company also predicts that the project will spur economic development by prompting large companies and data centers, which typically require high-capacity Internet service, to locate in West Virginia.
Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Martinsburg, Beckley, Bluefield, Bridgeport and Wheeling will host GigaPoP sites.
"The GigaPoP facilities are located in West Virginia's primary economic development zones where having access to enhanced broadband services is critical for job retention and new job creation," Citynet wrote in its proposal.
At least a dozen companies -- including Suddenlink Communications, nTelos and Shentel -- have expressed interest in tapping into the new high-speed GigaPoP network, according to Citynet. Frontier wasn't one of them.
"It's going to be open access," Martin said. "It's a meeting point for everybody."
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.