- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 19, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A recent story in The Washington Times did not give a complete picture of the advanced broadband capabilities already available in and around Beckley, W.Va. (“Stimulus funding aids broadband expansion,” Web, Business, Monday).

The Times’ story quoted the mayor of Beckley about how important it is for schools to have access to advanced broadband capabilities. We agree. That is why we bid on and are constructing a network that, once completed, will be capable of providing advanced broadband services to all the public schools in Raleigh County, where Beckley is located. Schools will have broadband connectivity to the West Virginia Department of Education’s main office — 60 miles away in Charleston — using the latest fiber technology to deliver speeds of up to 100 gigabits. This project is just one example of the commitment our company has made to deliver advanced broadband services to schools, homes and businesses.

Backed by a voluntary investment of approximately $120 million in West Virginia in the past three years alone, we offer to homes in virtually all of our service areas the fastest residential download speeds available anywhere in the state — up to 12 megabits per second — speeds we expect will increase substantially as we continue to invest in the state.

We also have built customized solutions for businesses and other institutions in our service areas, routinely offering speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, with the technology available to increase those speeds to 100 gigabits per second or greater if requested.

Our company is only one of several in and around Beckley that are delivering advanced broadband solutions and actively investing in those solutions.

We applaud the federal government’s allocation of stimulus funding to help drive the expansion of broadband, and we think everyone would agree that this money should be invested wisely — where it is most needed and will do the most good. That will only happen if accurate information is recorded about communities (like Beckley) that already enjoy a highly competitive slate of options for advanced broadband service. Federal broadband funds should be focused instead on communities that do not have the options that Beckley has.

DAVE BACH

Senior vice president

Suddenlink Communications

Scott Depot, W.Va.

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