Ohio Broadband Moves Forward

Expanding Internet access throughout Ohio is becoming more of a reality than a possibility.

On July 27, Governor Ted Strickland’s chief information officer, Steve Edmonson, announced that the governor had signed Executive Order 2007 - 24S, creating an Ohio Broadband Council and Broadband Ohio Network. On hand to witness the announcement were more than fifty technology activists. They came from Coshocton, Mansfield, Dayton, Cleveland, Steubenville, Toledo, Cambridge, Cincinnati, and a dozen other communities represented at the State Library for ONE Ohio’s second statewide gathering.

“We also shared some local broadband deployment success stories, discussed ONE Ohio’s broadband access mapping project, and did a whole lot of networking,” Cleveland Digital Vision director, Bill Callahan says.

“All in all, a successful and informative gathering.”

According to Edmonson, the council will extend access to the Broadband Ohio Network by allowing the public and private entities to tap into a statewide network. The goal is to expand access to high-speed Internet service in parts of the state that do not have access.

On December 17, Strickland announced a new initiative the Broadband Council is pushing forward - Connect Ohio.

The initiative will feature a public-private partnership between Internet providers and the state. Connect Ohio will determine where there is no broadband access and establish county committees to study an area’s needs.

Ultimately, the goal is to show where demand exists and encourage Internet providers to expand service into the lacking areas, as well as creating new job and educational opportunities for those who do not have it.

An initial $2.9 million was approved for the project through the fiscal year of 2009. Strickland proposes an additional $3.9 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

More information about the Ohio Broadband Council can be found at http://www.ohiobroadbandcouncil .