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WVU set to become Morgantown Internet provider in leasing agreement

West Virginia University would provide Internet service to some City of Morgantown locations under a fiber-leasing agreement that City Council is expected to consider Tuesday, April 5.

Under the agreement, ITS is working with the city’s network manager, Declaration Networks, to provide Internet access to the Morgantown Municipal Airport and city offices downtown. The project will use in part low-frequency “white space” spectrum created as TV stations shifted from analog to digital broadcasting. Its signals travel more effectively than higher-frequency signals, penetrating walls, roofs and other obstacles, and reaching farther than Wi-Fi.

The University began using the “white space” three years ago to provide wireless service to the campus and other nearby areas.

ITS and the city have collaborated for months on a plan that avoids any significant expense for either party. The city will pay about $55 a month for 10 megabits of Internet bandwidth. If average use exceeds that amount, it will pay more, at a rate of $5.47 per Mb per month.

“This is an opportunity to partner with city officials and help position them to provide future services at the airport and downtown,” said Brice Knotts, executive director of enterprise infrastructure and research computing. “This will benefit not only visitors to Morgantown, but also WVU students and their families.”