(credit: Virginia Tech)
Private Internet service providers are speaking out against a proposal to build a publicly funded fiber network in West Virginia.
State Sen. Chris Walters, a Republican, introduced a bill this week that would deploy more than 2,000 miles of fiber optic cable. The state-owned and operated network would include only middle-mile infrastructure and not the "last mile" fiber connections that extend to people's homes and businesses. This network would be open access, however, so any Internet service provider could gain access to the lines and build last-mile facilities to offer service directly to customers.
That arrangement would make it easier for small Internet service providers to compete against the big ones. Naturally, small ISPs support the project while big ISPs oppose it, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.