Delegates Mick Bates, R-Raleigh, and Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, agree with the many West Virginians who have said there ought to be a way to hold their shoddy internet providers accountable. And it’s why the two are inviting residents to send complaints about the provider Suddenlink directly to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In keeping with our work to make providers aware of the needs of our constituents, we are pleased to announce the creation of email@example.com as a clearinghouse for any West Virginian who has been unable to resolve their concerns with Suddenlink through more traditional channels,” said Linville, who serves as chairman of the House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure.
“Concerns sent to this email address will allow Delegate Bates, my staff with the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure and I to monitor, track and follow up on those concerns with this provider, and it also will provide us with valuable information going forward as we craft legislation, host hearings and work to better advance broadband infrastructure throughout the state.”
Linville recently announced he will lead a broadband caucus, open to legislators from both parties from both the House and the Senate. This group will ensure that not only are West Virginians’ connectivity concerns properly addressed but also that the influx of federal money being directed to improve broadband serves its intended purpose.
“Now more than ever we must keep a careful eye on these efforts and these dollars,” Linville said. “No one wants to live through another router-gate, and we plan to stay in lock-step with every initiative to guarantee no dollars are wasted and we get what we’re paying for.”
Bates said after sharing his own personal struggles with Suddenlink publicly, he’s been inundated with similar stories from his community.
“Of all the elected officials I have worked with who are trying to fix the damn internet and hold Suddenlink accountable, none has been more helpful to me than Chairman Linville,” Bates said. “Delegate Linville has stepped up once again and helped to establish this central email address just like the one he set up for Frontier issues, and I thank him for his assistance and leadership.”
West Virginians are encouraged to share concerns about customer service and billing problems as well as problems with service coverage.
“This will be a way for us to efficiently help West Virginians directly and to collect information on what legislation we should pursue during the next legislative session, so we are better able to regulate this industry and ensure people get what they pay for,” Bates said.
Linville said Bates has added consistent advocacy to the long-running efforts Linville has spearheaded to hold internet service providers accountable.
“Mick has taken a keen interest in this effort and has contributed meaningfully to our work,” Linville said.
Linville added that the House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure has requested Suddenlink appear to present and field questions during a January meeting, which will include addressing many of the public’s concerns.