WESTON, W.Va. – FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Senator Manchin held a town hall meeting in Weston Friday afternoon to discuss broadband connectivity throughout rural West Virginia.
Senator Manchin and Rosenworcel discussed the need for better internet and cell phone service for multiple reasons, including health, safety and education access.
The pair also addressed the reason West Virginia has been left behind in broadband coverage. They explained that FCC maps show rural areas of the state are being covered, but the reality is that they aren’t.
“We’re trying to get the maps all corrected, we are urging everyone to get the speed test, to do these speed tests. You can get online, it’ll tell you, it’ll walk you right through it,” said Senator Manchin. But, we need to know and people need to be involved in West Virginia if they ever want to have broadband, high-speed internet, cell service, this is what we’re fighting for.”
Senator Manchin has encouraged every rural West Virginian to access an app called, “Ookla,” to help determine how weak or strong internet coverage is in your area.
“It’s clear to me that we’ve got work to do in West Virginia and that there are too many places in these hills that are not connected like they should be. And, what’s really challenging is that, back in Washington, a lot of our official maps at the Federal Communications Commission suggests that this state has a lot more connectivity than you see when you’re on the ground,” said Rosenworcel.