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Broadband Internet Bill Advances in W.Va. House

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Legislation aimed at expanding high-speed wireless and broadband internet development in West Virginia has advanced in the House of Delegates.

The House committee on technology and infrastructure approved the bill Wednesday and forwarded it to the House judiciary committee.

The bill would allow broadband providers to install updated technologies on existing rights-of-way and utility poles, resulting in a saving of capital costs.

It also would require power companies to study the feasibility of providing broadband technologies on their existing infrastructure. The state Public Service Commission would oversee the bill's provision.

To further reduce costs and encourage investment, the bill would establish a method of calculating the valuation of wireless technology for tax purposes.

The Federal Communications Commission says 82 percent of West Virginians have access to fixed broadband internet speeds.

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