Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) sent seventeen letters to Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with results from speed tests submitted by constituents from across West Virginia to highlight incorrect broadband coverage maps of West Virginia and support the need for the formation of a public feedback system to better assess broadband coverage across rural states like West Virginia. In July and August, Senator Manchin sent nine other letters to FCC Chairman Pai to highlight other speed test results he received from West Virginians who do not have access to reliable broadband service. In this latest batch of letters, Senator Manchin included the results of speed tests taken in Berkeley Springs, Beverly, Clarksburg, Great Cacapon, Philippi, Wheeling, Belington, Aurora, Bruceton Mills, Cameron, Jane Lew, Mount Nebo, Rivesville, Tornado, West Virginia.
The letter said in part, “While I am encouraged to hear that your agency is planning to implement a formal public feedback mechanism to improve broadband coverage maps, the people of West Virginia need help now. Until a more viable process is established, I will be providing you with real coverage data from people on the ground in West Virginia and a brief description of the challenges they face personally, professionally, and economically as a result of their unreliable broadband service.”
The letter continued, “West Virginia is a wonderful place to live with vibrant, caring communities that value connection. However, the lack of broadband access is having a devastating impact on residents’ ability to work, learn, and connect in my state. Ironically, the same things that attract people to live and work in my beautiful state – our tall mountains, lush forests, rolling hills and roaring rapids – make broadband deployment astronomically expensive.”
Until the FCC establishes a user-friendly public feedback mechanism to allow West Virginians to help validate the FCC’s coverage data, Senator Manchin will continue to send speed test results to Chairman Pai. If you would like Senator Manchin to send your own speed test results to the Federal Communications Commission please email a screenshot of your speed test (if possible) along with the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The name of the speed testing application used (i.e: Ookla, FCC speed test application, NACo’s TestIT application, WV Broadband Enhancement Council’s speed test etc.)
- The type of device used to take a speed test (i.e: Apple iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy, laptop etc.)
- Type of broadband service (fixed or mobile)
- Name of provider
- Address of area tested
- Latitude and Longitude (if available)
- A brief description of the challenges you have experienced due to your lack of broadband service
Or, if you are unable to email this information due to lack of service, please send the information above to his Washington, DC office:
Senator Joe Manchin III
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The letters can be read below: