Shentel scores $1.5M in WV grants, adds 18K fiber passings in Q2

Shenandoah Telecommunications (Shentel) bagged over $1.5 million in West Virginia broadband grants to build out its network across almost 1,000 locations in the state. The awards came as the operator touted continued fiber growth in Q2.

Shentel received two grants; one was worth $1.12 million from West Virginia’s Major Broadband Project Strategies (MBPS) program and will cover 809 addresses with fiber in Grant County. The county will contribute approximately $1.09 million in matching funds for the project.

Shentel will use the second grant (worth $402,727), which came from the Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program, to expand broadband to 157 addresses in Lewis County.

Other grant winners include Armstrong Telecommunications, Frontier Communications and Prodigi.

Shentel in Q2 gained 4,000 Glo Fiber subscribers, bringing its total Glo Fiber subscriber count to 32,843 at the end of June 2023. Overall Glo Fiber passings increased by over 70,000 year on year (18,000 sequentially) from 112,505 to 182,847.

On an earnings call last week, COO Ed McKay said Shentel in the quarter was awarded a total of $6.3 million in grants to bring broadband to over 2,000 unserved locations surrounding its cable footprint.

To-date, the operator has received more than $87 million in grants to extend broadband across more than 27,000 locations, primarily through fiber-to-the-home technology. The 18,000 new passings it reached in Q2 included 400 new government subsidized passings, McKay added.

“In addition, our construction backlog remains very robust with 319,000 incremental passings approved for construction,” he said.

Shentel previously stated plans to turn up services in six new markets in 2023. Glo Fiber service went live in Shippensburg and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania at the end of Q2, and Shentel this week announced plans to construct fiber in Warrenton, Virginia starting in 2024.

McKay went on to say nearly 43% of residential subscribers in the quarter adopted speed tiers of 1-gig or higher, with roughly 4% taking speeds of 2-gig or greater, which includes the symmetric 5-gig plan it launched in April.

Shentel has invested $99 million year-to-date into Glo Fiber. That includes approximately $90 million for engineering and construction and $8 million to connect new customers.

“I will point out that approximately 23,000 of our planned government subsidized passings will extend broadband to unserved areas around our cable markets and we see this as an excellent opportunity for broadband subscriber growth as we complete construction over the next several years,” McKay said.


Consolidated revenue of $71.3 million grew 8.1% year on year, driven by broadband segment revenue growth, which went up 8.6% to $66.7 million. Net income was $1.8 million, an improvement from a loss of $3.2 million in Q2 2022.

In addition to 32,843 Glo Fiber subscribers, Shentel reported 109,404 cable customers at the end of Q2.