(03/02/2015)
UPDATE - A bill that would open the door for West Virginia to get involved in the expansion of broadband service is on life support.

Frontier Communications is widely opposed to the state getting involved in "middle mile" construction to bring broadband to the state's rural counties.

The bill failed to make it out of the Senate Finance Committee Friday for consideration by state senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael(R), a Frontier Communications vice-president.

The bill would have created a 2,600-mile fiber "middle-mile" network, a $78 million project that would have been be paid for with bonds.

Frontier Communications consultant Billy Jack Gregg told finance committee members there are already seven middle-mile broadband networks in the state, repeating a Frontier statement that the company has made a $500 million investment in West Virginia in recent years and has experienced a five-time increase in broadband traffic.

“The last-mile is the challenge. Last-mile is the most costly and difficult to provide,” Gregg said. Bill sponsor Senator Chris Walters (R-Putnam) told Gregg no company can build the last-mile until middle-mile reaches those areas.

Frontier critics say the company concentrates more in populated areas, with a review of a broadband map of West Virginia showing there are many areas lacking coverage.

Senator Doug Facemire (D-Braxton) expressed concern the state might be getting in over its head issuing bonds for the expansion.

“If private industry will make a commitment to do what we’re wanting to do and there’s a reasonable amount of time I think we should let them have a shot at it,” Facemire said.

Meanwhile, the state remains at the bottom in the USA with real broadband access.

ORIGINAL STORY - West Virginia is among USA states with the worst real broadband service.

A recent FCC report said Calhoun County, among a half dozen other WV counties, had the worst service in the Mountain State.

Frontier does not measure up to the FCCs standards for broadband speeds, and is continuing to advertise "high speed Internet" that does not perform to stated speeds.

WV HOUSE BUCKLING OVER FRONTIER ADVERTISING BILL - Bill Would Restrict Frontier From Advertising High Speed Internet

FRONTIER FEISTY AFTER LAWSUIT OVER "HIGH SPEED" INTERNET - "They Got What They Paid For"

A West Virginia Senate committee advanced legislation this week that aims to expand affordable high-speed Internet service to rural communities across the state.

Frontier Communications opposes the proposal that could bring rural West Virginia into 21st Century technology and open up greater business opportunity.

The state sponsored 2,600 mile fiber optic proposal would cost $85 million to construct with the sale of bonds.

READ ABOUT THE PROPOSAL:

W.Va. bill to build $85M rural broadband network advances   By Eric Eyre, Staff writer for the Charleston Gazette

WV HOUSE BUCKLING OVER FRONTIER ADVERTISING BILL - Bill Would Restrict Frontier From Advertising High Speed Internet

FRONTIER FEISTY AFTER LAWSUIT OVER "HIGH SPEED" INTERNET - "They Got What They Paid For"

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

CALHOUN AT END OF BROADBAND PIPELINE IN WV


Hur Herald ®from Sunny Cal
The information on these pages, to the extent the law allows, remains the exclusive property of Bob Weaver and The Hur Herald. information cannot be not be used in any type of commercial endeavor, or used on a web site without the express permission of the owner. ©Hur Herald Publishing, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017