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Internet Access

The state is now accepting submissions for broadband expansion projects to reach regions of Ohio that don't have reliable access to the internet. The grant program has a pot of $250 million that's available to connect underserved areas. The millions of dollars in broadband expansion money was approved in the state budget.

Legislation to help expand high-speed internet access in underserved and rural areas of Ohio is getting bipartisan support and fast-tracked consideration at the Statehouse as the coronavirus pandemic increases pressure to address that digital divide.

Ohio Public Radio

Getting broadband services to the estimated one million Ohioans who lack it has been a challenge

As the COVID-19 crisis took hold and schools in Lockhart, Texas, had to close and shift to remote learning, the school district quickly conducted a needs assessment.

They found that half of their 6,000 students have no high-speed Internet at home. And despite being a short drive south of Austin, a third of all the students and staff live in "dead zones," where Internet and cell service aren't even available.

None of this was surprising to Mark Estrada, superintendent at the Lockhart Independent School District.