New WV laws to extend Internet access

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Newly signed laws in West Virginia are intended to extend broadband internet service to parts of the state currently lacking it, and help communities prepare for major flooding.

The broadband measure says it’s a primary goal of the Legislature and governor to make every community and rural area accessible and establish equitable access to 21st-century technology.

It establishes a council to gather data on existing service, including internet speeds, and annually map them.

It also establishes an insurance fund to support expansion projects and authorizes pilot projects by municipalities and cooperatives to reach underserved areas.

For flood protection, a new state resiliency office will receive funds, coordinate efforts and update plans annually against floods like those last June that killed 23 people and damaged hundreds of homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

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