Columbus, OH, July 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Connected Nation Ohio (CN Ohio) is starting a new phase in its mapping, technical assistance, and analysis later this spring through funding from Third Frontier. Since 2008, CN Ohio, a local subsidiary of Connected Nation, has worked to raise awareness and identify ways to expand access to high-speed internet (broadband) to millions of people across the Buckeye State.
“Ohio leaders have long recognized the importance of connecting every Ohioan and have been committed to tech planning throughout the state,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. “We are proud to be a part of that history of hard work and are excited about this next phase. It is clear that Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. John Husted, and Ohio legislators are taking action and have committed to work together for a common and important goal— ensuring all Ohio families and businesses have access to the opportunities and resources broadband can provide.”
Approximately 2.4 million Ohio households have either no high-speed internet service or have only one choice. Rural areas are hit the hardest. Only 86% of rural Ohioans have access to broadband speeds defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as 25 mbps download and 3 mbps upload. These are minimum requirements and are good for a single user or multiple users with light use. It also allows for some video streaming.
Third Frontier is providing one million dollars in funding to CN Ohio for one year. The non-profit will use those funds to map current broadband coverage, provide technical assistance, and present analysis with a new site of maps that will be available in late 2019.
“Ohio has not released maps that identify broadband availability and speeds since 2017. That’s a huge gap in research, especially when you consider how quickly the technology is evolving,” said Sandy Oxley, Executive Director, CN Ohio. “We need to know where there is digital disparity—where families, businesses, agricultural sectors, and whole communities are being left unserved or underserved. It’s both a social and economic issue for the Buckeye State. Having broadband means accessing government, healthcare, and educational resources and it means a positive economic impact that measures not just in the millions but in billions of dollars.”
Reaching full broadband coverage in Ohio would generate an estimated $1 to $2 billion, conservatively, and up to $6.6 billion in economic benefits over the next 15 years. In addition, the telehealth cost savings annually per facility are $27,209.
“We are laser-focused on identifying exactly where the Digital Divide sits in Ohio and the challenges and solutions to closing it,” said Oxley. “As we begin our work anew, we invite all Ohioans to visit our website and join the conversation by providing both feedback and input on the state of broadband in your area.”
Businesses and consumers can provide that input at connectednation.org/Ohio. They can also find regular updates and news about broadband expansion efforts and funding opportunities in the state and across the country.
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Connected Nation Ohio (CN Ohio) is the local subsidiary of the national non-profit, Connected Nation. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovation solutions that expand access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet and its related technology to all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit:
Jessica Denson Connected Nation 5023412024 firstname.lastname@example.org