US program to boost rural W.Va. broadband access

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Federal Communications Commission is targeting nearly $4.6 million toward boosting access to high-speed Internet to rural West Virginians.

The FCC's Connect America Fund will help Frontier Communications Corp. connect more than 5,900 locations statewide to broadband service. Under the deal, Frontier must complete two-thirds of its new broadband installations within two years, and the rest by the third year.

FCC officials say that more than 15,000 more West Virginians will be able to access high-speed internet.

The agency says about 571,000 West Virginians - nearly 60 percent of the rural population - lack access to broadband, and the state has the lowest rural broadband access in the nation.

Connect America is a national public-private effort to connect 19 million rural Americans to high-speed Internet by 2020.

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