In mid-June, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor John Husted, and Broadband Ohio announced that four teams will make up the first cohort of the BroadbandOhio Community Accelerator. This is a new program to help local communities plan and build capacity to improve their broadband infrastructure and access. The teams from Defiance, Shelby and Tuscarawas counties, as well as the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, are participating in a 15-week webinar class to help them learn how to identify broadband goals, access resources, and create a local strategic plan that can make the most of upcoming federal and state funding opportunities.
Many communities throughout the state do not have affordable access to high-speed internet, which is necessary to take full advantage of modern economic, education, and health care systems. More than $232 million in grants authorized by the Broadband Expansion Authority ultimately will help improve broadband internet service for about 230,000 Ohio residents in numerous counties.
The BroadbandOhio Community Accelerator program is a collaborative effort between BroadbandOhio, Heartland Forward, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and OSU Extension. Several OSU Extension community development educators will assist with this program. You can read the full press release online.