Lawmaker And Gubernatorial Candidate Wants State To Offer Grants To Improve Broadband Access
300 thousand Ohio households and more than 88 thousand business have no broadband internet access. State lawmakers are working on a bipartisan way to bring cheaper access to rural Ohio. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.
The idea is for the state to make grant money available to pay for the expensive process of laying down the groundwork for broadband internet.
Democratic Senator Joe Schiavoni says high-speed internet can be expensive if the ratepayer also has to cover the cost of the infrastructure, which costs an average of about $26,000 a mile.
Schiavoni: “But once you have local governments work with the states, work with the feds and the company in order to get that part done that actual providing of the internet isn’t the problem at all.”
Bills in the House and Senate would create $50 million in grants to businesses, non-profits and local governments to bring internet to 14,000 households. The money would come from Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission.