Federal officials have rejected West Virginia's proposal to spend about $2.5 million in funds leftover from a broadband stimulus grant.
State chief technology officer Gale Given tells the Charleston Gazette that the state likely will have to return the unspent funds to the federal government.
The state wanted to award the funding to Citynet to help pay for a project that would give West Virginia direct connections to the national Internet "backbone" in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Columbus, Ohio.
The newspaper says the National Telecommunications & Information Administration rejected the proposal last week.
The state received more than $126 million in 2010 to expand high-speed Internet statewide. The federal agency told Given that the state failed to formally request an extension of the funding, which expired Dec. 31.
Senator Sam Cann gave a speech on the Senate floor Thursday concerning the loss in funding.