West Virginia

 

West Virginia U bring super wi-fi to campus (GCN) July 11, 2013

Super Wi-Fi systems, which became possible when TV stations abandoned analog for all-digital broadcasting, haven’t exactly taken the country by storm. But some public-sector organizations are starting to take advantage of the opportunity.

Statewide broadband project’s fiber costs escalate (Charleston Gazette) June 15, 2013

West Virginia is spending nearly three times more than it expected for every mile of fiber-optic cable being built as part of a statewide high-speed Internet expansion project funded by the federal stimulus, according to a report.

Broadband panel’s death knell could be just a click away (Charleston Gazette) June 12, 2013

A governor-appointed group charged with expanding high-speed Internet in West Virginia could be disbanded next year unless it secures additional funding.

W.VA gives high speed internet routers bought with stimulus funds to universities, colleges (The Republic) June 12, 2013

Universities and colleges are getting high-capacity Internet routers that the state bought for $24 million with federal stimulus funds.

Group to host summit on rural broadband (Charleston Gazette) June 4, 2013

A nonprofit group will host a statewide broadband summit on Thursday, after Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration canceled plans for a similar conference earlier this year.

Tomblin’s office shut down broadband audit (Charleston Gazette) May 27, 2013

A consulting firm hired by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration started an audit of the state’s use of $126.3 million in stimulus funds to expand high-speed Internet, but the governor’s office abruptly stopped the review in May 2011, records show.

Local broadband strategic plan complete (Journal News) May 26, 2013

The Region 9 Planning and Development Council has completed its Broadband Strategic Plan, the first of West Virginia’s planning and development councils to finish the report.

Frontier: No fiber internet for Pocahontas homes (Pocahontas Times) May 2, 2013

Frontier Communications, the sole Internet provider in most of Pocahontas County, has no plans to provide residential fiber-optic Internet service here. Instead, Frontier is promising to improve existing service over copper telephone lines. Although digital signals can be transmitted over copper lines, fiber-optic cable is far superior, allowing bandwidth in excess of one gigabit per second – 100 times faster than any Frontier residential service in the county.

Broadband project nearly finished (Charleston Gazette (West Virginia Gazette) April 27, 2013

A $126.3 million federal stimulus project designed to expand high-speed Internet across West Virginia is nearly finished, but more than $43.3 million remains unspent, according to a report released last week.

When will Pocahontas County get fiber optic broadband (Pocahontas Times) April 25, 2013

Fiber-optic Internet is the new standard for residential and business broadband. Fiber transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds. So when will Pocahontas County get fiber-optic service, already enjoyed in many parts of the state?

Broadband council forbidden to talk about project (Charleston Gazette) April 16, 2013

West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council members want to talk about the biggest broadband development project in state history, but Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office won’t allow it.

Senate prioritizes internet access over speed (The Charleston Gazette) April 10, 2013

West Virginians with no Internet service would receive priority over broadband customers who want faster speeds, according to a bill revised in the Senate Wednesday.

Frontier Communications, the state’s largest broadband provider, had lobbied for the last-minute change. More than 85,000 households in West Virginia don’t have Internet service.

Consultant says state broadband project created ‘monopoly’ for Frontier (West Virginia Gazette) March 21, 203

West Virginia government officials used tens of millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds to help Frontier Communications build a fragmented high-speed Internet network across the state that solely benefits Frontier, according to a consultant hired by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration.

Group aims to expand broadband (Weirton Daily Times) March 21, 2013

A committee of the Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning and Development Council is working to extend higher speed Internet service to rural and other underserved areas of the two counties and needs the public’s input to do it.

West Virginia buries study on how they screwed up broadband – didn’t want to ’embarrass’ anyone further (DSL Broadband Reports) March 20, 2012

West Virginia is one of the worst connected states in the nation, something that was supposed to be helped by a $126.3-million federal stimulus grant intended to improve state broadband. Instead, as a series of excellent reports in the Charleston Gazette have illustrated over the past year, state leaders doled out most of that money to Verizon, Cisco and Fairpoint, who convinced corrupt and/or incompetent state officials to spend it on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and several ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven’t actually accomplished anything.

West VA cancels broadband summit over $126.3 million stimulus funds investigation (FierceTelecom) March 18, 2013

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin canceled a statewide broadband summit because of a federal investigation into the state’s alleged misuse of a $126.3 million broadband stimulus grant meant to extend broadband services to hospitals and libraries

Frontier warns against redefining broadband speed (The Charleston Gazette) February 12, 2013

West Virginia could wind up wasting millions of dollars in state funds to expand high-speed Internet if the state redefines adequate broadband speeds, a Frontier Communications executive told members of a state council Tuesday.

West Virginia is one of the worst connected states in the nation, something that was supposed to be helped by a $126.3-million federal stimulus grant intended to improve state broadband. Instead, as a series of excellent reports in the Charleston Gazette have illustrated over the past year, state leaders doled out most of that money to Verizon, who convinced the (either corrupt or totally incompetent) state officials to spend it on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven’t actually accomplished anything.
$126M broadband project a ‘train wreck’ delegate says (Charleston Gazette) January 8, 2013
West Virginia Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato told state lawmakers Monday that a former U.S. Commerce secretary called the state’s $126.3 million plan to expand high-speed Internet “one of the best written proposals in the country.”
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City net already placing fiber-optic networks (The Charleston Gazette) December 20, 2012

Citynet has already started to install fiber-optic networks in West Virginia as part of the Internet service provider’s plan to bring faster broadband services to the state in a multi-year project, the company’s CEO said Thursday.

Investigation begins into West Virginia’s broadband incompetence (DSL Broadband Reports) December 13, 2012

West Virginia is one of the worst connected states in the nation, something that was supposed to be helped by a $126.3-million federal stimulus grant intended to improve state broadband. Instead, as a series of excellent reports in the Charleston Gazette have illustrated this year, state leaders doled out most of that money to Verizon, who convinced the (either corrupt or totally incompetent) state officials to spend it on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven’t actually accomplished anything.

Now the Gazette  notes that The West Virginia Legislative Auditor is at least investigating the ridiculous spending on routers ($22,000 each), trying to figure out who recommended them (Verizon) and why state leaders signed off on it:

Fiber network goes unused at West Virginia libraries (WCTV) December 10, 2012

A plan that used federal stimulus funds to install fiber-optic cable and expensive routers in West Virginia libraries has run into a roadblock because the state Library Commission can’t pay for upgraded Internet service under an existing contract.

Frontier protests West Virginia broadband program grants (FierceTelecom) December 5, 2012

Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR), West Virginia’s largest telco, on Tuesday said it is concerned about how the state’s Broadband Development Council is going to dole out $3.15 million in broadband service grants next week.

Verizon billing out broadband ‘consultants’ at $500K (DSL Broadband Reports) November 26, 2012

West Virginia is once again facing criticism for broadband stimulus spending after a new report highlighted that the state has paid broadband “consultants” millions of dollars despite continuing to be one of the worst connected states in the nation. West Virginia was already under fire after a series of reports in the Charleston Gazette Mailhighlighted how the state was using millions in broadband stimulus funding to buy overpowered routers from Verizon at $22,000 a piece — only to use them in tiny libraries while leaving hundreds of other routers in storage collecting dust.

Public computer center open (News and Sentinel) October 26, 2012

WorkForce West Virginia encourages individuals with limited access to the Internet or high-speed broadband service to use the new public computer center at the WorkForce West Virginia Parkersburg office at 300 Lakeview Center.

W. Va. using innovative broadband program to connect students (Bluefield Daily Telegraph) September 23, 2012

After nearly 125 years of providing the United States and the world with the most powerful steel-making coal in the world, McDowell County still doesn’t have a single mile of four-lane highway to show for it. While the profits from all that coal was used to pave streets from Charleston to Charles Town, not much made it back to help the people of McDowell County who sacrificed so much to build skyscrapers, cars and keep the lights on everywhere.

WV fiber festival in Reedsville (WV Public Broadcasting) September 11, 2012

The annual West Virginia Fiber Festival has been on-going now for three years. Set up at the West Virginia University extension farm in Reedsville, the event lasts all weekend and attracts vendors and farmers from all over the region who raise livestock for their fiber fleeces among other things.

Broadband access coming to McDowell(Herald Dispatch) September 5, 2012

Most residents in McDowell County will have access to high-speed Internet by the end of year.

Panel looks at broadband services (Register-Herald) August 31, 2012

Any discussion of the challenges posed to West Virginia by the growth of technology must begin with the acknowledgment that a significant portion of the state’s rural households do not have access to broadband.

Report ranks West Virginia 1st in the nation for people without broadband (WTRF 7) August 23, 2012

WV: A new federal report ranks West Virginia first in the nation for people without high-speed Internet.

OH/WV: Valley officials working on broadband access (Parkerburg News and Sentinel) August 7, 2012

Homeowners and businesses are encouraged to complete a survey and Internet speed test, which will allow the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council to develop a plan to improve broadband access throughout the eight-county region.

FCC accepts broadband challenge (The Journal) July 22, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission is hoping to provide nearly 60 percent of West Virginia’s rural population with access to high-speed Internet and increase mobile coverage on 27,000 miles of roads statewide, according to a statement issued by the commission.

Federal funds to provide broadband service (News and Sentinel) July 20, 2012

Federal funding is hoping to grow broadband availability and access throughout rural parts of the country, including West Virginia, which has a large number of the population without the service.

WV officials defend stimulus broadband spending (Seattle PI) July 12, 2012

West Virginia bought more than 1,000 expensive Internet routers with federal stimulus funds as part of an ambitious plan to create a long-lasting, high-capacity broadband network throughout the state, the official overseeing that spending has told a congressional inquiry.

Broadband coverage confusion costs WV millions(Coalition for the New Economy) July 12, 2012

“What a fiasco.” – The Charleston Gazette in an editorial on the state’s use of $24 million of a $126 million federal grant to buy high-speed Internet routers.

W. VA officials defend stimulus broadband spending (Business Week) July 12, 2012

West Virginia bought more than 1,000 expensive Internet routers with federal stimulus funds as part of an ambitious plan to create a long-lasting, high-capacity broadband network throughout the state, the official overseeing that spending has told a congressional inquiry.

Broadband for rural communities behind WV stimulus spending (WVNSTV) July 11, 2012

West Virginia bought hundreds of expensive routers as part of an ambitious plan to create a long-lasting, high-capacity broadband network throughout the state.

That’s the state’s response to a pair of congressional subcommittee chairmen who question West Virginia’s handling of $126 million in federal stimulus funding.

West Virginia’s incompetent handling of broadband stimulus money (Broadband DSL Reports)

While broadband stimulus money has done some great things in a significant number of under-connected communities, West Virginia is getting immense heat this week for the discovery that the state is — to be polite — a little incompetent. According to the Sunday-Gazette Mail, the state took their chunk of broadband stimulus funds and decided to buy a number of $22,000 routers as part of a $24 million contract with Verizon Network Integration. The problem? Many of these routers were installed at tiny libraries — at least one of which only has four computers:

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