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Marlinton to be one of state’s five Gigabit Cities

MARLINTON, W.Va. — At the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner January 17, chamber president Mike Holstine announced that Marlinton had been selected to be one of five Gigabit Cities.

Last week, Holstine explained that the status was the result of discussions during the broadband summit held last summer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank.

“I formed and held the first Broadband Summit mainly for rural areas, but for Pocahontas County in particular,” Holstine said. “I invited the West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council to hold their meeting here in Pocahontas County as part of the summit.”

During that meeting, West Virginia Geographic Information Systems coordinator Tony Simental presented a plan for broadband in West Virginia. The plan included suggestions to increase Internet speed, increase infrastructure, and procedures the state could follow to ensure the Internet operates at the highest speed possible.

“One of the recommendations was to develop a study plan for five Gigabit Cities within the state,” Holstine said. “Of course – in the plan – those gigabit cities were major metropolitan areas. After they had their meeting, at lunch, I was talking with both Tony and [WVBDC Chair] Judge Dan O’Hanlon. I said, ‘you know that all makes sense and it’s logical, but there’s nothing that addresses rural areas. If we’re going to do a plan to study these things, wouldn’t it be nice if we tried to figure out a way to develop the rural areas in West Virginia.’ The judge agreed and he said he would recommend doing that.”

O’Hanlon announced at the summit that Pocahontas County –  in particular Marlinton – would serve as one of the five Gigabit Cities…

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