Report shows West Virginia ranks 47th in broadband Internet access

Published: Oct. 4, 2017 at 2:05 PM EDT
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A new report using FCC data shows West Virginia ranks near the bottom of all U.S. states for access to broadband Internet.

A report by West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin's office, using data from the Federal Communications Commission's "2016 Broadband Progress Report," shows that West Virginia ranks 47th, of 50 states, for percentage of residents without access to broadband Internet service.

The FCC says 554,124 West Virginians - or 30% of all state residents - do not have any access to broadband Internet.

48% of West Virginians, or 462,020 people, who live in rural areas (defined as an area with fewer than 2,500 residents) do not have access to broadband Internet, according to the FCC

In Ohio, just 8% of all residents have no access to broadband Internet, while 31% of Ohioans living in rural areas do not have broadband access.

Nationally, 10% of all U.S. residents do not have access to broadband Internet, while 39% of Americans living in rural areas have no broadband access.

Senator Manchin says he's working on several pieces of legislation in the Senate, including a bill he recently introduced with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), called the Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017.

The bill would require the FCC to collect valid broadband coverage data, which will be used in Mobility Fund II, which would provide $4.53 billion over ten years to expand broadband Internet service in rural and un-served areas across the U.S., including in West Virginia and Ohio.