Associated Press Published

Panel to Push for Much Faster Internet in West Virginia


The new chairman of a governor-appointed panel says gigabit internet service needs to be available throughout West Virginia in order to prevent the state from falling behind.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council Chairman Rob Hinton said Tuesday that reaching the 1-gigabit level should be the panel’s prime focus.

That’s 100 times faster than average broadband speeds in the state. Some cities offer access to gigabit service, but not entire states.

Hinton says having a 1-gigabit goal would help attract businesses. Other council members argued that internet providers struggling to offer 10 megabits-per-second service in rural areas might be put off by such high expectations.

A Federal Communication Commission report ranked West Virginia 48th in the country for access to high-speed broadband internet service.