Make Broadband a Public Utility in WV

What We're Up Against

West Virginia ranks 47th among the 50 states for broadband connectivity. Fully half a million people, 30% of our state’s residents, have no access to a high-speed, reliable internet. This lack, felt most severely in our rural places (where nearly half of people have no access), limits education, economic development, tourism, business creation and expansion–and even where we and our kids choose to live.

Our Plan

This process has already been started in at least 27 West Virginia counties, and will best be accomplished by local organizations working to meet a desperate local need.

Using SB 459 (fiscal note) as a guide, we will lay 2,287.3 miles of fiberoptic cable and create 5,000+ jobs as a result of construction and operation.

Local broadband co-ops will finance construction of the last mile with federal and state grants, as well as investment from the State Bank

 

This would include strengthening state-level anti-trust laws, giving the Public Service Commission the direction to advocate for ratepayers, and tasking agents to work with the Office of Technology to investigate, pressure, and penalize corporate abuse of consumers.

We will also force providers to clearly publish rate/speed tiers — and corporate and executive pay — in a way that is accessible to all consumers.

 

No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.

If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at stephen@wvcantwait.com.

Fund the Movement

This movement runs on people power, without a dime of corporate cash. Make your donation today. Or better yet, join the ranks of our monthly donors by selecting the box during check out! 

Join the Movement

We have hundreds of volunteers in every corner of the state, and a growing slate of candidates who will need our help in 2022. It will take 1,000 leaders not 1 to win a West Virginia that works for all of us.