Williamson Daily News

BroadbandNow, a resource started in 2014 that aims to help people in the U.S. get better connected to the internet, has released a 2018 broadband infrastructure data report for West Virginia cities.

Williamson is served by two main wired providers, Frontier Communications and Suddenlink Communications. Both of these providers offer wired internet service covering most parts of Williamson. Additionally, there are two other wired providers covering limited areas of Williamson.

The average download speed in Williamson is 53.94 Mbps, which is 61 percent faster than the average in West Virginia and 22.8 percent faster than the national average, according to a report by BroadbandNow.

Williamson is the 237th most connected city in West Virginia ahead of Phelps, Kimper, and Kermit, but behind Belfry and Delbarton.

"Strong, modern economies require strong, modern broadband infrastructure," the report begins. "If a community wants to grow, affordable internet access is an essential prerequisite. Just look at the turnaround in cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas, where fiber internet upstarts have driven down prices and enabled thriving tech industries."

Approximately 4,000 people in Mingo County do not have access to any wired internet, and 16 percent of Williamson residents are still limited in wired broadband choices, according to the report.

The report, however, shows that West Virginia as a whole is still lagging behind the rest of the nation in terms of adoption of fiber optic coverage. According to the data, only 2.5 percent of internet coverage in the Mountain State is fiber optic (zero in Mingo County), compared to 27.1 percent in the U.S.

According to the FCC, 24 million Americans still don't have access to broadband service, and millions more only have two options for service. In rural areas, download speeds are often barely better than dial-up.

To access a copy of the report, along with consumer facing tools provided by BroadbandNow, visit http://broadbandnow.com/West-Virginia/Williamson.