Other board members said they support faster Internet speeds, but they predicted the change would drive broadband providers away from remote areas without high-speed Internet.
"They're going to ignore areas where there's no business case," said Gale Given, West Virginia state government's chief technology officer. "It's going to drive funding into areas that are already served."
Martin said the faster minimum speed would make more communities in West Virginia eligible for state and federal broadband funds.
"This helps us recognize there are still a lot of broadband challenges to address," Martin said. "This will ensure the citizens of West Virginia will receive reasonable levels of service and broadband speeds."
The proposed legislation also requires that acceptable broadband service won't have "latency" problems - disruptions or delays during Internet telephone service, online gaming and video conferencing applications such as Skype.
In December, the council awarded $2 million in grants to wireless telecommunications firms for projects that will bring Internet service to hundreds of households in West Virginia. The council has $1.6 million in leftover funds it hopes to distribute later this year.
The broadband council's legislation also will allow the group to distribute state grant money designed to encourage people to subscribe to broadband across the entire state.
Current law only permits the council to give "demand promotion grants" in remote areas that don't have high-speed Internet. Council members say it doesn't make sense to promote broadband in areas that don't have the service.
House Majority Leader Brent Boggs wrote a letter to the broadband council Friday, saying he would support their bill.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.