West Virginia Broadband Day focuses on expansion effort

CHARLESTON — Wednesday was West Virginia Broadband Day at the Legislature.

The House of Delegates and the Senate recognized the importance of broadband advancements, access and expansions while a variety of displays were available for visitors.

“Broadband Day at the Capitol is an opportunity for us to be able to talk about the need aspects, why it’s vital and important for the sustainability of West Virginia,” Sen. Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, said. “It’s a vital piece of infrastructure that needs to be available to all our communities, large and small, across the state for communication and business needs.”

Displays were from West Virginia for Broadband, the West Virginia Broadband Council and broadband providers and developments of recent industry investments.

A 2016 study said over 18 months, 134,000 households in West Virginia had new or improved broadband speeds thanks to investments from providers. That number has continued to expand over the last two years.

Moreover, recently 16,900 households received entirely new broadband opportunities, while an additional 117,000 households gained improved speeds.

Since 2011, access to a wired connection of at least 10 mbps has improved throughout West Virginia from 44.5 percent to 91.3 percent. The West Virginia Broadband Program has received almost $5 million in federal grants for West Virginia’s Broadband Initiative, since 2010.

Most notably, projects relating to broadband infrastructure have received almost $130 million, about 3.7 percent of all federal infrastructure grants to West Virginia.

Legislative citations supporting broadband were presented in the House and Senate during the opening of the morning sessions.


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