State leaders break ground on broadband expansion project

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A major broadband project is underway in southern West Virginia with some help from Facebook. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito said this was something the state needed for a long time.

“275 miles of cable that they’re going to bring through for high-speed internet. I think that could be a game changer for us in terms of getting to that last house and getting to that last business,” Capito said.

On Monday, November 18, 2019, leaders from West Virginia and representatives from Facebook broke ground on a new project. They are building a high capacity fiber optic cable network.

The project will run from Ohio, through West Virginia, and into Virginia. Governor Jim Justice said the goal is to bring internet to more people across the mountain state.

“We’ve been kind of left out in West Virginia and we need absolutely that connectivity. This will be traversing across our state, it will have more bandwidth that we will be able to plug into the internet and then it will make its way, slow but sure, to your homes. It is exactly what we need,” Justice said.

West Virginia currently has some of the worst broadband connectivity issues in the nation. Congresswoman Carol Miller said this cable will benefit schools and jump start economic development.

“They do work in school all the time online and it’s just going to make a huge difference with our health in rural West Virginia and the telehealth that we need to do. Work force is always very important and we can educate to the jobs as well,” Miller said.

Construction on this project is expected to last 18 to 24 months. It will begin in Ashburn, Virginia.

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