Ohio announces grants to expand high-speed internet access

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Friday grants to provide better broadband connectivity to Ohio. The funding would bring affordable, high-speed internet access to 62 counties, including in the Miami Valley.

Ohio’s Broadband Expansion Authority authorized BroadbandOhio to award more than $232 million in grants to 11 internet service providers.

The funding will go toward 33 broadband expansion projects happening in 31 counties and benefit 43,000 households.

Spectrum was awarded more then $2.1 million to give Clark County residents access to Spectrum Internet Gig service, which would speed up download and upload times for customers.

“Whether you live in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, or in Appalachia in Ohio, everyone should have keys that open up opportunities in the world we live in today,” DeWine said.

DeWine said along with the grants, the state secured commitments from providers to bring affordable high-speed internet to 52,000 additional homes in 31 additional counties, including the majority of the Miami Valley.

In total, giving nearly 100,000 households, or 230,000 Ohioans, better internet access.

Husted said Ohio is investing in these projects because high-speed internet is necessary for home, work and school.

“During the pandemic, when children had to try to learn from home, and many people in Ohio learned that many kids don’t have the ability to do that, that it really flipped a switch in people’s minds about the urgency with which this needs to happen,” Husted said.

It is estimated to take about two years for all projects to be completed.

DeWine said Ohio also expects additional federal funding to expand broadband access in the coming months.

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