CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. has asked President-elect Donald Trump to include broadband internet expansion to any future infrastructure proposals made in his administration.
In a letter to Trump dated Dec. 9, Capito called high-speed internet access a "pillar" of 21st century infrastructure and said Trump's policies on pipelines and highways should apply to broadband as well. Overhauling the nation's infrastructure was one of Trump's most prominent campaign points.
Capito also cited a study by the Federal Communications Commission, which said 56 percent of West Virginians did not have access to broadband internet that met the agency's benchmarks. Capito said that number reached as high as 74 percent in rural parts of the state.
Policy specifics Capito highlighted in her letter included reducing barriers to investment in infrastructure, streamlining the regulatory environment for wireless providers, encouraging public-private partnerships and ensuring accountability on federally-funded projects.
"West Virginia needs to grow and diversify its overall economy, and internet access is fundamental to that transition," Capito said in the letter. "Broadband can revolutionize rural communities by linking them to the national, and even global, economy."