Being realistic about broadband

Too often, the reports federal officials use to claim they are using taxpayers’ money effectively overstate results. So it is with a report on broadband access to the internet, issued by the Federal Federal Communications Commission.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has written to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, pointing out the report exaggerates West Virginians’ access to broadband service drastically. Manchin can document his contention.

“The report claims that 98% of West Virginians have access to fixed broadband or mobile LTE (long-term evolution) coverage despite the fact I already proved these maps wrong,” Manchin states in his letter. “We both know that the broadband coverage results published in this report are based on inaccurate and overstated coverage data,” he adds.

Indeed. Ninety-eight percent coverage? That may seem in Washington like a defensible claim — but not here.

Manchin is right to be angry. Federal internet access initiatives should be based on reality, not wishful thinking that is an insult to West Virginians.


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