5:30 PM -- I'll admit that I don't know much about West Virginia beyond what John Denver tells me. But now Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has given Mr. Denver one more reason to posthumously love West Virginia -- broadband to the boondocks.

Verizon has taken a little bit of heat in recent months for the alleged correlation of its broadband coverage areas -- especially FiOS -- with high-density, wealthy areas, while leaving those living in West Cupcake, Pa., in the dark.

It's no wonder then that Verizon took the opportunity today to congratulate itself for its initiative to expand the reach of its broadband services in the rural parts of West Virginia (although using the adjective "rural" to describe that state is probably a bit redundant.) (See Verizon Expands Rural DSL.)

"Our performance demonstrates that Verizon is genuinely committed to broadband deployment in West Virginia's rural communities," says Verizon West Virginia president H. Stan Cavendish, who, like most West Virginians, is part rooster.

So expect the cows to come home earlier than normal in the near future. With Verizon DSL at their hoof-tips, they'll be anxious to check who friended them on MySpace. If only John Denver were still alive...

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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