Charles Thomas, Arnoldsburg School Principal; Larry Baker, GSC
faculty; Bob Weaver, former commissioner and Hur Herald editor

A $3 million check was just awarded to the Central West Virginia Development Association for a project that will provide real broadband to more than 3,600 households, businesses and community facilities in Barbour, Randolph and Upshur counties, a project similar to the Clay, Calhoun and Roane initiative. Calhoun is joining with Clay and Roane Counties in an effort to bring real broadband to the under-served areas, following years of failed initiatives, including the Frontier monopoly.

The Calhoun Commission has appointed three people to the CCR Broadband Development Committee, which has already had two meetings.

Serving on the group is Larry Baker, GSC faculty; Charles Thomas, Arnoldsburg School principal and Bob Weaver, former commissioner and editor of the Hur Herald.

"This type of consortium may be the rural areas best chance to bring it into the 21st Century," said Fred Rader with the Mid-Ohio Regional Council.

"I cannot believe the level of technical expertise we have within this committee," said Terry Martin, Project Coordinator, from the Regional Intergovernmental Council.

The challenge in bringing such a project to life is overcoming the dollars with a small customer base, and once the project would be built, having finances to maintain it.

The gap in high-speed broadband access between rural and urban areas remains wide in the U.S. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 40 percent of rural Americans (23.4 million) lack broadband access to a fixed service with speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download/3 Mbps upload, while only four percent of urban residents lack access to those speeds.

Without access to high-speed broadband, rural residents are severely limited when it comes to economic development, civic engagement, and the other social benefits related to broadband availability and its adoption.

The multi-county project will first consider how such broadband expansion can benefit low to moderate income persons.

The CCR Broadband Development Committee is applying for funds to complete a feasibility study to serve all customers desiring high speed internet service.

The committee is dedicated to this study and is requesting residents and businesses in Calhoun, Clay and Roane Counties to email their reasons and concerns for requesting broadband service.

Please email your reasons and concerns to ccrbroadbandgroup@gmail.com

ccrbroadbandgroup@gmail.com or send them to CCR Broadband, c/o Regional Council, 315 D Street, South Charleston, WV 25303.

Also, the WV Broadband Enhancement Council has a website that is requesting assistance to validate the download and upload speeds in the area and within the state, excluding satellite service.

They have a small survey on their website to identify and pinpoint exactly where you are located. This speed test information will assist the Committee in obtaining funds to develop this three-county broadband network. Their website is: broadband.wv.gov

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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