Report Shows 554,124 West Virginians Lack Broadband Access

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A new report says a half-million West Virginians still lack access to high-speed internet service, including about half of all those who live in rural areas.

The report released Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin cites Federal Communications Commission estimates that 554,124 West Virginians can’t get reliable broadband.

Among the state’s nearly 1.8 million people, the report says that affects 462,020 living in rural areas and 92,104 in urban areas.

Manchin says that in the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt understood that every American needed reliable electricity to succeed in that economy, but utilities were leaving rural areas behind.

He says the U.S. faces a similar crisis today with needed Internet access.

The report shows nearly 34 million people nationally without reliable broadband, including 23 million in rural areas.