CHARLESTON, W.Va. --A $24 million federal award coming to West Virginia will help expand high-speed Internet access in rural areas. The award from the Federal Communications Commission will support an expansion of broadband infrastructure. As a result, high-speed Internet access will be expanded to at least 40,000 rural homes and businesses in West Virginia. The announcement was made Thursday by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall. Rockefeller says the FCC is an important partner in efforts to bring high-speed Internet to rural communities. Rockefeller and others have urged the FCC to continue releasing money from its Connect America Fund to support continued development of broadband infrastructure. Manchin says the award will help the affected West Virginia businesses become more competitive.