BROADBAND DREAMS: 74% RURAL WEST VIRGINIANS LACK BROADBAND BENCHMARK ACCESS - Improvements Not In Sight

(04/15/2015)

By Bob Weaver

Most Internet "broadband" users in rural West Virginia are not concerned about FCC speed requirements.

Not unlike the Hur Herald, they're just concerned about basic access at any speed.

In Calhoun, the small number of customers getting broadband from the wired TV cable company have a shot.

A new report says more than half of West Virginians don't have access to broadband service that meets current speed requirements, including Frontier Communications.

Frontier's so-called high-speed customers should not be paying more that $20 monthly for the service.

Frontier is offering the $20 fee for new customers.

The Federal Communications Commission recently updated its benchmark speed to reflect advances in technology, consumer demand and offerings by broadband providers.

The new benchmark for downloads is 25 megabits per second, up from four megabits.

The new benchmark for uploads is three megabits per second, up from 1 megabit.

In a report released Friday, the FCC says nearly 56 percent of West Virginia residents don't have access to broadband service that meets the benchmarks.

In rural areas of the state, 74 percent of residents lack access to the benchmarks.

Despite promises, government subsidies, and expansions, there is little hope for improvement.

Politicians continue to hold conferences, set up new councils and promote polling about the problem.

The Hur Herald, just to get any kind of access, switches back and forth between Frontier and HughesNet satellite.

HughesNet is generally non-performing for part of the day, a situation they will not correct.

HughesNet monthly fees are up to $120 a month.


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