How expanding broadband can help repopulate West Virginia

Inside West Virginia Politics

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On Inside West Virginia Politics, Del. Daniel Linville (R) Cabell County, Assistant Majority Whip, discusses the importance of broadband expansion in the Mountain State. 

During the 2021 Legislative Session, Linville says two bills passed that would regulate red-tape cutting, move the process significantly faster, add many consumer protections, and provide funding for the Broadband Insurance Program, allowing local providers to take advantage of federal dollars. 

It’s estimated that between 23% to 40% of West Virginia had no broadband signal, and a study shows West Virginia has the nation’s second-slowest internet speeds. Linville says the leading cause for slower internet speeds has been lack of competition in the market, as Frontier Communications dominates in West Virginia and the older technology still being used. According to Linville, DSL cannot use gigabit internet as Fiber Broadband can. 

He also discusses Gov. Jim Justice’s ASCEND West Virginia Program that entices remote workers to move to West Virginia. Linville agrees with the program and says broadband would allow the state to expand the economy and help regain some population back. 

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