Broadband: The Future of West Virginia

By: Allison Rhea Email
By: Allison Rhea Email

For those of us that can connect to the world wide web in an instant, it's a luxury we don't think twice about, but many of us still can't, either because it's not affordable, or the infrastructure just isn't there.

Senator Jay Rockefeller brought FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, to Ripley Monday afternoon to hold an open discussion with area leaders on the matter.

The point of the meeting was to hear how broadband, or the lack of it, affects their industries, whether it's education, health care or emergency services.

"More important than roads, more important than water, more important than everything, we have them now, and so this broadband issue and wireless issue is the future of West Virginia and we've got all these mountains make things harder even though they're beautiful, they get in the way of everything," says West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Senator Rockefeller adds that the Internet is now a necessity and the federal government must step in to bring broadband to all parts of the West Virginia.

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  • by nopity Location: town on Dec 8, 2010 at 04:28 AM
    I'm just impressed that Rocky can still find West Virginia.
  • by Jake Location: Parkersburg on Dec 7, 2010 at 04:00 PM
    ViennaGuy...I remember that like it was yesterday. See my post below yours.
  • by Anonymous Location: rockport on Dec 7, 2010 at 03:49 PM
    is this the same rockefeller that said all of wv would have water line access to their homes by the year 2000 don't hold your breath im still hauling my water and so are a great deal of others !!
  • by Blair Location: Vienna on Dec 7, 2010 at 05:35 AM
    The opportunity to have fast internet is critical for small rural communities. High unemployment is the norm in rural WV. It is not without good reason that folks like Rockefeller are pushing this through. Just look at Google and Apple. They are creating massive server farms in rural NC and SC. Why? Cheap land, robust power sources, higher than normal unemployment, small occurrence of large natural disasters, and access to large internet nodes. West Virginia has...Cheap Land, Robust Power (Hydro and Coal), limited natural disasters, and higher than average unemployment. If we ever want to compete and attract the new era of business, one that will rely not so much on muscle but brains, we need broadband. Let's be bluntly honest: The days of new big plants that you can go to work for right out of high school and expect to retire at are leaving this state for overseas. But that isn't all: Health Care and Education will benefit greatly. This is important and critical for WV.
  • by ViennaGuy Location: Vienna on Dec 7, 2010 at 05:30 AM
    We could have had fiber to the home in Wood County a long time ago. A company called iTown offered to set up a fiber network at no charge to both cities, but the councils were bombarded with howls of 'The sky is falling!' from Verizon, CAS, and (then)Charter. I was at the Vienna city council meeting when this was discussed and voiced my support for the iTown proposal. All three companies cried that the presence of an iTown fiber network would cause them to lay people off. Both councils bought into the companies' fraidy-cat antics and told iTown 'no.' Verizon even went so far as to say they'd upgrade us to fiber if iTown was rejected ... talk about empty promises! We are now paying the price for the politicians' short-sightedness. Thanks for nothing, Parkersburg and Vienna city councils. Go to for details on iTown.
  • by Will Location: Marietta on Dec 7, 2010 at 04:55 AM
    This will become another entitlement program We The People will be told to pay.
  • by secret shopper Location: parkersburg on Dec 7, 2010 at 04:24 AM
    internet is a way of great communication and before time everything will need a computer for something. yes as of now broadband internet is very expensive even for the lowest speed.the prices keep goin up every year & the lines are not even upgraded to handle the fastest speeds. internet may not help you drink water or keep you warm but it keeps you involved with local news and weather and school information.internet is great and it needs to be more affordable.
  • by Jake Location: Parkersburg on Dec 7, 2010 at 04:21 AM
    I remember a couple of years ago the City of Parkersburg rejected the Itown model to bring affordable broadband access to the city and the surrounding areas. We all know why that was rejected.
  • by Trudy Location: Belleville on Dec 7, 2010 at 03:17 AM
    Anyone who does not feel that broadband is not necessary in today's society has never had to do without because of their location. It is internet is required for most jobs, most kids homework, emergency info, the list goes on and on. Our only option is satellite internet and we have a small limit of usage allowed a day and if the weather is to bad or the clouds move just right we have nothing. The internet is required in our home for jobs and school plus it is our only access to any local news and info like school closings as we are not able to get a good enough radio signal either.
  • by Fred Location: North End on Dec 6, 2010 at 11:19 PM
    For the past 5 years, two of the top three contributors to Senator Rockefeller have been companies that stand to benefit from this decision, ATT and Verizon.
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