House Speaker Miley Praises City's Internet Initiative; Says "Gigcity" Set for Discussion by Legislators at Next Week's Interims

By Jeff Toquinto on August 21, 2014 via

House Speaker Tim Miley’s platform has many levels to it, but he’s quick to point out that having high speed internet access to as much of West Virginia as possible occupies one of the upper levels of the platform. In fact, when state lawmakers come to Bridgeport for interim meetings next week, Miley, D-Harrison, said the City of Bridgeport’s announcement to become the first “Gigabit” city in West Virginia will be a key area of topic for at least one committee.
“There’s a joint technology committee meeting that will be held at Citynet and we think it’s important that the members of this committee here what (City Manager) Kim Haws and (Citynet President and CEO) Jim Martin have to say about what they announced (Wednesday),” Miley said. “I want them there and I want this committee to hear about this. I can’t tell you how important this is. This is a really big deal.”
What “this” actually is involves is a proposed pilot program on the technological front that could prove groundbreaking to both residents and businesses. Haws confirmed that a potential pilot program would connect its residents to the Internet at speeds up to 200 times faster than they currently utilize. The program is going to be tested in an area consisting of 100 homes.
The project still requires City Council approval Monday. Click HERE to read about Bridgeport’s announcement.
Miley already is calling Bridgeport “Gigcity.” And he’s hoping others will follow suit after next week’s interims session that officially begins Monday.
“The hope is to let members of the Legislature see what (Bridgeport is) planning on doing, talking over their concerns and questions and then taking the idea back to their own community for consideration,” Miley said. “This is important because we have to grow the number of people that have access to high speed internet. It is, without question, a huge economic development tool.”
Miley said the Gigabit factor would allow people to work remotely for companies out of state or even internationally, while being able to enjoy the quality of life in West Virginia and added that the possibilities created by this are limitless.
“If we continue to allow ourselves to only be focused on a few, traditional economic sectors as the panacea for economic prosperity in West Virginia, we will never realize our true economic potential,” he added. “The action being taken by the city of Bridgeport is a perfect example of how every community in West Virginia can embrace the future by mixing innovative ideas with technology.”

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