By Jessica Farrish, The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — West Virginia House of Delegates passed a broadband bill Wednesday that aims to protect consumers in the state and to increase competition among companies by giving cities and counties control of the broadband “highways.”
Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, worked with chief sponsor Del. Dan Linville, R-Cabell, on House Bill 2002, which aims to make internet companies like Suddenlink more accountable to consumers. The bill has advanced to the Senate.
If passed, it will require internet service providers to give consumers 30 days notice before increasing rates, including a 30-day notice if a promotional pricing is changed. The bill also seeks to hold broadband companies accountable for notifying customers in writing if a billing dispute is not settled correctly that the consumer may address the West Virginia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
The bill states that customers must have a service credit for any period that the “internet was down.”
“This is one of the House’s high priorities,” Bates said…