The telecommunications industry continues to make significant investments in the infrastructure of West Virginia. According to a report released Friday, January 29, 2016 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this investment has increased the number of West Virginians with access to 25 megabit per second download/3 megabit per second upload service by more than 480,000. The FCC adopted 25/3 as the new benchmark for broadband service in the January 2015 broadband report.
“Last year the FCC reported that 56 percent of West Virginia’s population lacked access to 25/3 broadband service, based on year-end 2013 data. The latest FCC Broadband Report is based on 2014 data and shows that in just one year, the number of residents without access to 25/3 broadband was reduced to 30 percent,” said Kevin Wallick, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Frontier Communications in West Virginia. “The data shows the number of residents in urban areas of West Virginia with access to 25/3 broadband service increased by 235,000. However, the increase in rural areas was even greater – more than 250,000. Frontier is proud of its contribution to improving broadband access in the Mountain State.”
The latest FCC report data has a more than 12-month lag and provides statistics for 2014. The statistics from the 2015 report relied on data from 2013 and received considerable coverage last year as public and private entities sought to efficiently expand broadband in West Virginia after the FCC changed the benchmark for broadband to 25/3 in 2015.
The timing of the release and the data in the report is significant.
“This data highlights the considerable investment our industry has made and continues to make to improve services and meet the FCC standard as it has changed,” said Wallick. He added, “The FCC report only reflects progress through the end of 2014. It does not reflect the thousands of households Frontier connected in 2015.” Wallick said. “More importantly, Frontier is not slowing down. We have hundreds of broadband expansion projects planned throughout West Virginia in 2016.”
“We look forward to continuing our last-mile investments to expand and improve our network throughout West Virginia,“ Wallick added. “We have plenty of middle-mile capacity in West Virginia and thanks to hard work by all the carriers in West Virginia, the last-mile technology that carries signals from the broad telecommunication backbone to and from the home or business is making real progress.”