Internet Speeds by State During the 2020 Quarantine: West Virginia

We looked at internet speed test data for 2020 so far, and here’s what we found for the state of West Virginia and capital Charleston.

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.

Sources

  1. Edward Gately, Channel Partners, “Frontier Communications Filing Bankruptcy No Surprise to Many,” April 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
  2. Lucas Manfield, The Pocahontas Times, “Bankruptcy, Blackouts and Broken Broadband Promises,” September 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
  3. Scott Gillespie, Government Technology, “W.V. Candidates Want Broadband Classified as a Utility,” October 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
  4. Steven Allen Adams, The Weirton Daily Times,
    Interest Shown in West Virginia Broadband Expansion Project,” September 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
  5. Gil McClanahan, WCHS, “Huntington Wants Its Own Internet Service, Claims Current Service is Too Slow,” September 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.