(05/19/2006)
Read Drew Moody's "GSC CITY WI-FI PROJECT SCUTTLED - Reinvented, Seeking Funds" May 17, 2006 - Hur Herald.

By Bob Weaver

Virtually every politician worth their salt, as the new millennium arrived, said bringing Americans into a high-tech 21st century with high-speed internet service would revolutionize how business is done.

"It will be an economic boom to rural America, allowing business to be conducted from almost anywhere," they said.

But much like modern access highways and infrastructure that are still lacking in WVs rural counties, broadband could be years coming except through expensive satellite systems.

More West Virginia computer users are using broadband, up 40% last year (27%), but the state still lags behind the USA average, according to the West Virginia Advanced Services Task Force.

A study reported by the PSC says that broadband is available to 75 percent of West Virginia households. That is misleading. Those numbers are skewed toward populated areas.

Rural counties with older telephone systems and limited TV cable distribution are still far behind, and pilot projects to bring high-speed to rural communities have faltered, and in some cases, the providers have gone bankrupt, like in Clay County.

Just because DSL is available in a telephone exchange, only households or businesses within 2-3 miles of a telephone wire center can access the service.

Drew Moody has written an insightful article for the Herald on the wireless project in Glenville (5/17/2006), its joys and sorrows, highly touted as bringing broadband to that rural community.

So far, it seems, we're still on the dark side of the moon, he says.

Read Drew Moody's "GSC CITY WI-FI PROJECT SCUTTLED - Reinvented, Seeking Funds" May 17, 2006 - Hur Herald.


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