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What began as a pilot program has resulted in the Mountain State receiving another internet provider.

T-Mobile Home Internet launched in West Virginia on April 7 as part of a national rollout encompassing more than 30 million households. The service is initially available in communities near Charleston, Parkersburg, Huntington, Weirton, Mount Gay and Bluefield.

“Reliable high-speed home internet is a critical need for all Americans and T-Mobile is fortunate to be able to offer this service to many West Virginia residents — bringing competition and choice to communities across the state,” said Dow Draper, executive vice president of emerging products at T-Mobile.

The launch comes after first starting as a limited pilot program in 130 cities and towns across nine states. That included five areas in the northern and eastern parts of West Virginia.

The program was part of a push by T-Mobile to expand internet coverage into more rural areas. Company officials said nearly one-third of the more than 30 million households currently eligible for service are in rural areas. It said it expects to have more than 500,000 customers by the end of 2021, and plans to serve upward of eight million homes in five years.

T-Mobile’s merger last year with Sprint not only expanded its coverage area, but also provided an influx of more than five million subscribers. It is now the second-largest wireless provider in the country.

Link goes green

Link Automotive has shifted to eco-friendly power.

The 35-year-old Charleston auto shop partnered with locally based Solar Holler to install solar panels. The 125-panel system was activated in time with Earth Day and is expected to power much of the facility, producing more than 40,000 kWh annually.

The move comes after Link shifted to LED lighting in its office and instituted an initiative to reduce paper use by moving more work online. The company is marking the installation of the solar panels by giving out reusable tote bags to customers.

“We at Link are so excited to be celebrating Earth Day in such a big way this year,” said Link Auto CEO Jeb Corey. “We are dedicated to continuously bettering our business and reducing our environmental footprint.”

Supply chain expo planned

A free, virtual expo will be held next month to link small suppliers with major state health care providers.

The West Virginia Health Supply Chain Expo is scheduled for 1-2 p.m. Wednesday. Participants can learn about the processes to become suppliers to health care providers, including Charleston Area Medical Center, Mountain Health Network and Thomas Health Network.

The expo is presented by Advantage Valley and the Robert C. Byrd Institute, as well as the Huntington Area Development Council, Charleston Area Alliance and the Putnam County Development Authority.

For more information, go to visit www.advantage valley.com/node/91.

Do you have business news or an announcement? Email shamilton@hdmediallc.com to submit your information.

Reach Scott Hamilton at shamilton@wvgazettemail.com or 304-348-4886.

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