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W.Va. House passes broadband internet bill, sends to Senate

January 28, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed legislation aimed at expanding high-speed wireless and broadband internet development in the state.

The bill approved 97-2 Monday now moves to the state Senate. One delegate did not vote.

The bill would allow broadband providers to install updated technologies on existing rights-of-way and utility poles, resulting in a saving of capital costs.

It also would require power companies to study the feasibility of providing broadband technologies on their existing infrastructure. The state Public Service Commission would oversee the bill’s provision.

To further reduce costs and encourage investment, the bill would establish a method of calculating the valuation of wireless technology for tax purposes.

The Federal Communications Commission says 82 percent of West Virginians have access to fixed broadband internet speeds.

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