Earlier this month, West Virginia signed West Virginia’s Internet access bill into law.
In short the law says that they want the stat covered by broadband by 2010. Most of the state is already covered but some remote areas remain un-served.
They recognize that the mountains will make the job tougher and that the high percentage of elderly and low income populations makes the demand low. So they are adding a component to stimulate demand in these areas.
Here is how they define broadband:
Broadband” or “broadband service” means any service providing advanced telecommunications capability with either a downstream data rate or upstream data rate of at least 200 kilobits per second, that does not require the end-user to dial up a connection, and for which the transmission speeds are based on regular available bandwidth rates, not sporadic or burstable rates, with a minimum downstream-to-upstream data ration of 10:1 for services with a downstream data rate of up to five megabits per second, and with a minimum upstream data rate of 500 kilobits per second for services with a downstream data rate of five megabits per second or greater.
They have created a Broadband Council to oversee the effort. The Council members are not paid but will have control over a budget.
The plan is to create a map to determine need, create a plan to stimulate demand, and set up a plan for funding when necessary.