Broadband service very much a hot topic

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va., (WDTV) - Broadband internet is a phrase being thrown around a lot in this election cycle, at least in West Virginia.

According to an internet monitoring service, Broadband Now, West Virginia ranks 45th in broadband access with almost 30 percent of the population being underserved.

Last week, AT&T announced they'd be putting up another service tower increasing reliability to their customers in the Bridgeport area.
But most state representatives will tell you there is a much larger need for internet connectivity than a few additional towers.

"Any business that looks at our state, that's going to be one of the first things they check, is if we have high speed internet connectability. And then educationally we are hindered because of it. Assignment have to be modified fore some students. We need to get high speed internet to every young person in this state," Delegate Danny Wagner of Barbour County says.

Last Week Senator Joe Manchin held a meeting with key stakeholders from West Virginia's technology sector, asking for potential solutions to our state's internet inability. Preston County Delegate Dave Sypolt was also in attendance and says it's about time for our state to make the broadband commitment.

"Absolutely the first step is to make a commitment for better internet connectivity. Just like in the '50s there was a commitment to the national highway system, we need to make a commitment in our state to a broadband, high-speed internet highway of sorts. That'll help provide a competitive buildout to the communities," Sypolt says.

Sypolt also says because of that meeting, there will definitely be a positive growth in our state's internet service.