CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia has used tens of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to pay Frontier Communications to install more than 500 miles of high-speed fiber cable to public buildings.
Now, Frontier's competitors want detailed engineering maps that show exactly where the company has constructed the fiber lines.
State Broadband Deployment Council member Jim Martin, who heads Citynet, said Wednesday that his company and other telecommunications firms plan to review the maps before deciding if they could tap into the stimulus-funded network to serve homes and businesses.
"A number of providers have inquired about where that fiber is located so they can expand broadband to customers," Martin said Wednesday. "The engineering maps are important so they will know exactly where the fiber is connected, and so they can tap it."
Frontier has installed 566 miles of fiber cable to 593 public buildings in West Virginia -- part of a $126.3 million high-speed Internet expansion project funded by the federal stimulus.
Martin started asking about the maps eight months ago. State officials overseeing the broadband expansion project promised to check into his request, but they haven't released the engineering maps.
On Wednesday, Frontier executive Dana Waldo, who also serves on the Broadband Deployment Council, told Martin to request the maps from the state "broadband grant implementation team," which heads the broadband expansion project.
"Those are requests that have to go to the implementation team," said Waldo, who heads Frontier's West Virginia operations. "It provides for a consistent process."
However, Gale Given, who serves on the project team and heads the state's Office of Technology, referred Martin to Frontier.
"If you need detailed engineering maps," Given said, "it's my understanding the [broadband project] team is not going to produce those."
Given noted that less-detailed maps are available on the state's broadband project website.
"If you need a specific area," she said, "tell us the specific area you need."