Internet Speeds by State During the 2020 Quarantine: West Virginia
West Virginia may be almost heaven with its glorious mountainscapes, but its average download speeds left a lot to be desired this year.
In September 2020, average download speeds in the state hit 37.2 Mbps—that’s 38.7% slower than the average speed of 60.8 Mbps in January.
The capital, Charleston, saw average speeds slow to a crawl at 22.2 Mbps in September, down 46% from average speeds of 41.4 Mbps in January.
A large portion of West Virginia has Frontier as its main internet provider—but Frontier declared bankruptcy in April this year.1 Meanwhile, the entire state has dealt with unreliable internet and even a $4.7 million lawsuit against Frontier over a botched fiber network upgrade.2
So we’re not surprised that political candidates from West Virginia are fighting to declare internet a utility in hopes that will increase the number of ISPs West Virginians can choose from and, therefore, expand access.3
Additionally, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) is seeking to gain up to $766 million in federal funds to expand internet access to 221,000 people living in West Virginia.4 And the city of Huntington is vying for a $2.5 million grant to create its own internet service.5
It’s pretty clear that you have to fight tooth and nail for good internet service in West Virginia.
- Edward Gately, Channel Partners, “Frontier Communications Filing Bankruptcy No Surprise to Many,” April 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
- Lucas Manfield, The Pocahontas Times, “Bankruptcy, Blackouts and Broken Broadband Promises,” September 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
- Scott Gillespie, Government Technology, “W.V. Candidates Want Broadband Classified as a Utility,” October 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
- Steven Allen Adams, The Weirton Daily Times,
“Interest Shown in West Virginia Broadband Expansion Project,” September 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
- Gil McClanahan, WCHS, “Huntington Wants Its Own Internet Service, Claims Current Service is Too Slow,” September 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.