Southern West Virginia gets federal loan for fiber network

Earlier this month, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia announced $37.9 million in loans to help rural residents of his state connect to high speed internet. Rockefeller, who sits on the Senate Commerce Committee, has been a leading advocate for universal high speed internet access.

The loans Rockefeller helped acquire for Southern West Virginia will go to iTown Communications, which works in public-private partnerships to bring high speed internet to rural communities across the country. iTown will construct a Fiber-to-the-Premises system, which connect an estimated 12,624 homes and 1,124 businesses to high speed internet, with the capacity to expand access to many more.

As Senator Rockefeller said,

"The creation of this high-speed network will ensure that Southern West Virginia is on the cutting edge of telecommunications technology, and is able to compete in this 21st century economy. This project will create substantial economic growth, improve the quality of life for users, and enhance educational opportunities. While increasing the efficiency of government services, it will generally benefit the health, safety, and welfare of the community."

This project will go a long way toward connecting West Virginians to the digital age. As this project and others like it move forward, it's important to make sure that the companies involved respect workers' rights, pay prevailing wages, and offer quality benefits.

A Clear Case for a National High Speed Internet Policy (Speed Matters)

iTown Communications