West Virginia is behind the nation in Internet access.

A new national study ranks the Mountain State 49th in the nation in Internet connection speed, ahead of only Alaska.

According to the report, downloading a file that takes 15 seconds in Rhode Island will take more than two minutes in West Virginia.

The study released by the Communications Workers of America warns that slow Internet speeds will hurt America's ability to compete in global commerce.

The median speed of Internet connection in Japan is nearly 60 times faster than the median speed in the US.

But a telecommunications spokesman in West Virginia says the real problem is demand with the rural population.

Mark Polen says about 80 percent of the people who have cable Internet can pay for faster connection speeds.

West Virginia lags behind the national average in both broadband use and the number of homes with computers.