Super Fast in West Virginia

Good news never grows old: Suddenlink announced Dec. 20 that a new 12 Mbps (megabit per second) high-speed Internet service is now available in most of its service areas in West Virginia, making it the fastest download speed available in the state, and making West Virginia the first Suddenlink state to receive this speed.

Before the announcement, an Associated Press story reported that, based on a random Web poll, the median download speed for Internet services in West Virginia was 1.12 Mbps , ranking the state 49th in the nation. In contrast, the median download speed for Suddenlink customers before the launch of the 12 Mbps service was approximately 3.75 Mbps.

“Clearly, this 12 meg speed … will improve West Virginia’s competitiveness with other states and we are proud to do our part in making that happen,” said Suddenlink Chairman and CEO Jerry Kent.

“This move by Suddenlink is the kind of progress West Virginia needs to keep pace and stay connected with the rest of the country, and truly the rest of the world,” said U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), a long-time supporter of broadband investment in the state. “We need to see more of this type of investment … I commend Suddenlink for responding to the needs of their customers, and hope that other broadband providers will follow their lead.”

While Suddenlink’s new 12 Mbps service is now widely available, company technicians will need to work closely with customers to help make sure they can receive the service in their homes.

“With this speed, we are moving into a realm that surpasses the capabilities of some home computers and other hardware, including modems,” said Michael Kelemen, Suddenlink’s director of public affairs in its Atlantic operating region. “Additionally, the wiring inside some customers’ homes will need to be tested, and in some cases, the wiring may need to be replaced in order to realize 12 Mbps on a consistent basis.”

While the West Virginia 12 Mbps speed is Suddenlink’s fastest, the company had already boosted Internet speeds for most of its customers earlier in 2007, without changing the price. In the majority of Suddenlink locations, the company’s Premier and Preferred services now offer download speeds of up to 10 mbps and 8 mbps, respectively.