MILTON, W.Va. – Delegate Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, said today’s signing of Senate Bill 3 by Gov. Jim Justice will unleash a wave of broadband infrastructure investment in West Virginia.
Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 3, which establishes the West Virginia Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act. The bill also contains additional high-speed internet expansion proposals passed earlier this year by the House of Delegates in House Bill 2005.
“This bill will unleash investment and the entrepreneurial spirit of our people,” said Delegate Linville, who was lead sponsor of House Bill 2005. “During our committee meetings, we heard from companies like AT&T that said they were prepared to invest tens of millions of dollars in new infrastructure should these proposals pass. This will translate into jobs, opportunity and a better quality of life for everyone who lives and does business in our state.
“Broadband infrastructure is as critical to today’s economy as the interstate highway system was to last century,” Delegate Linville said. “This bill will unleash new opportunities for our healthcare and education systems, and open up West Virginia to a wave of new 21st-century jobs.”
Delegate Linville said Huntington is already primed to be the first city in the state with 5G wireless technologies, which will improve opportunities for businesses and residents in the area.
“Our citizens and businesses will soon see tremendous improvements to internet access and speeds thanks to this legislation,” Delegate Linville said.
Delegate Linville, who is also a member of the state Broadband Enhancement Council, credited the cooperation and vision of leaders across the state, from the congressional delegation to local leaders. He said their efforts are beginning to yield tremendous results, as evidenced by the announcement earlier this month that Facebook will invest in a new 275-mile fiber optic cable route in the state.
“Our congressional leaders, including Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Congresswoman Carol Miller, are delivering on their promises to leverage federal resources to improve broadband access and speeds in our state, and our efforts at the state level will enhance those results,” Delegate Linville said. “I thank Speaker Hanshaw for his leadership on broadband issues in the past few years and Governor Justice for signing this critical bill into law. This is something that will truly make West Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family.”