|By Bob Weaver COMMENT|
Rural, remote and poor areas like Calhoun County are at the end of the food chain in receiving so-called "High-Speed" Internet and or cell phone service.
Improving such services hasn't been for the lack of trying, particularly efforts by the Calhoun Commission and OES/911.
During the 1990s I attended at least three political dog and pony shows that envisioned a new era for rural America through the Internet, saying it will not matter where you live in the USA, you can successfully operate your business from any spot and easily conduct your personal development from your home computer.
Since that time, politicos continue to announce every few months about bringing the back-areas of West Virginia into the 21st Century, or sometimes shading the media statements that it has already happened.
It's a crock.
The government has fraudulently allowed Internet providers to call low-performing "High-Speed" or "Broadband" services, making claims that don't even come close to actual performance levels.
I'm still outraged when politicos or companies keep making such claims, generally saying "We're bringing you into the 21st Century."
That, they have done for those closest to business or population hubs, but for the rest of us, it's a crock.
While Frontier has made some improvements with so-called high-speed near their sub-stations in Calhoun, the service is still below acceptable standards for most customers.
If a person lives out of the service hub, the chance of any kind of service is a distant dream.
Certainly, our local Frontier service workers get high ratings, and should not share any blame.
Verizon is engaged in a buy-out of land-line telephone services by Frontier, with Verizon union employees saying last week that Frontier is planning on offering broadband Internet speeds that were slower than those recommended in the FCC's National Broadband Plan.
Note, it is just a plan, not a requirement.
Frontier is claiming it will be "advancing the goals" of the federal broadband plan, while making claims they will expand "broadband" to 85-percent of their customers.
West Virginia is the lone state yet to approve the Frontier-Verizon sale.
If you live in rural West Virginia, there is no indication that real broadband, high-speed Internet service is coming your way.
You will have to consider systems offered by satellite Internet services.