Seneca County to receive dependable high-speed internet

Seneca East Local Schools is thrilled to hear dependable high-speed internet is coming to the more rural areas of Seneca County.

BASCOM, Ohio — While elected officials are working on possible plans to get high-speed internet in rural areas, two local companies are partnering to get some of that work done faster in Seneca County.

Bascom Communications will be partnering with the North Central Electric Cooperative to expand fiber optic coverage in the county.

The new fiber lines will use North Central Electric’s existing infrastructure.

Once complete, the $26 million expansion will bring high-speed internet to the majority of the county’s rural area and prepare the network for future expansion.

“We cover about 39% now and hit 81% when we’re done with this,” Bascom Communications CEO and General Manager Nate Brickner. “And then what we’re doing is we’re going to set up the other areas. So the plan is that we want to cover all of the rural areas with fiber.”

Brickner expects the work will require more employees to be hired but is uncertain exactly how many will be needed.

Current North Central Electric customers who don’t have access to high-speed internet can sign up on a special webpage to be eligible for the upgrade at their home and receive updates as the project moves along.

The expansion is being welcomed with open arms at Seneca East Local Schools, where superintendent Laura Kagy said students and teachers had to deal with slow, unreliable internet while doing remote learning.

“But we had no idea the scope of it until every student was sent home to learn from home,” Kagy said.

She said the upgrades will not only help teachers and students communicate better, but also open the door for the district to offer even more programs for the students. 

Bascom Communications will begin construction for their expanded fiber optic network sometime next year.

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