Randy Yohe Published

Broadband Legislation Sets Carrier Parameters, Consumer Protections


A sweeping broadband bill recently passed by the West Virginia Legislature provides protections for current and future internet customers.

To properly disburse up to $2 billion for broadband service and extension, the new legislation sets requirements for all telecommunications carriers regarding the use of federal dollars.

Linville House Floor.jpg

Perry Bennett
WV Legislative Services
Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, talks with fellow delegates on the House floor during session.

Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, said the law mandates the mapping of environmental or historical infrastructure impacts when installing fiber optic cable below or above ground. It also safeguards customers from carriers passing on tax fees, charging for a paper bill instead of a digital bill or paying when service is out.

“In most other types of products and services, including power and water, there’s a major desire for the provider to get that back up and running,” Linville said. “Because they can’t make any money if the service isn’t working. And we wanted to apply that to broadband service as well.”

Linville hopes the 300,000 or so West Virginia households without broadband access will be connected in much less than the five year federal funding deadline.