Broadband access a must for future of WV economy

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — More than a century ago, the first significant action in pursuit of a “universal” network for telephone service throughout the United States took place when the government allowed AT&T to operate without competition. The reasoning was that a single provider, working under government regulation, would be best suited to build a system providing access to telephone service across America.

The concept of universal service gained even more weight when the Communications Act of 1934 established the goal of making affordable basic telephone service available to everyone in the country. Within decades the objective was essentially achieved, even though the monopolistic environment that AT&T enjoyed for so long has gone away.

But there is another ongoing quest for “universal service” – access to broadband Internet services – that is far from being accomplished…

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