30,000 Southwest Ohio homes will soon have high-speed internet

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About 30,000 homes in southwestern Ohio will soon have high-speed Internet access. The State of Ohio has awarded more than $232 million in grants to internet service providers who will build the infrastructure needed for high-speed internet in rural areas.

“In rural Ohio, it never made sense for these businesses to do this because there was so much distance between homes – it lacked density – and so they couldn’t get a return on that investment. “said Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. “And so the grant program helps defray the cost of sustaining those investments so people can get high-speed internet.”

Statewide, 31 counties will see infrastructure built over the next two years or so, creating approximately 1,250 new jobs. Southwestern counties benefiting from broadband expansion include Warren, Clermont, Butler, Brown, Adams, Highland, Fayette, Preble, Montgomery, Greene and Clinton.

Husted says the expansion of broadband internet will help people enter the modern economy.

“Governor DeWine and I have long known that you can’t participate in the modern economy, education, or healthcare without high-speed internet access, which means moms and dads can’t telecommute. or work remotely,” he said. “Students cannot learn online without access to high-speed Internet. And the elderly or those with physical challenges cannot benefit from telemedicine. Access to high-speed Internet is essential to participate in modern life .”

Internet service providers also offer reduced rates for low-income people.

Husted says the grants also stipulate that certain internet service providers must independently fund 71 additional broadband projects. This means that around 230,000 households in total will benefit from 104 broadband expansion projects.

He says that’s just under a third of households in the state that don’t have high-speed internet access. Approximately 4,333,578 residents of Ohio still do not have high-speed Internet access.

That includes about 11,875 homes in Hamilton County that have access to less than 25/3 Mbps, according to BroadbandOhio. Of these, 3,741 households are below 10/1 Mbps. The county does not receive any grants to improve its high-speed internet availability.

“We still have work to do,” Husted said. “But understand that the private sector is also doing its own builds without our help. So you’re going to see that number continue to shrink. It’s just another bite of the apple.”

The grants have been approved by the general assembly and further funding for broadband internet access may be forthcoming.

According to a press release from Senator Rob Portman, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $65 billion for broadband infrastructure investment across the country, including more than $42 billion. to the states through block grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Ohio will receive its first $100 million of this broadband funding this summer and is expected to receive several hundred million more over time.

For a statewide map of broadband internet availability in Ohio, visit the BroadbandOhio website.

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