(BROOKLYN, Ohio) – Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of InnovateOhio, today joined local leaders in Cuyahoga County to announce a broadband expansion project that once complete will provide high-speed internet to approximately 25,000 households in the county.
The State of Ohio, through the Office of BroadbandOhio, has allocated $9.7 million in funding for the initiative, with Cuyahoga County providing matching funds, for a total of nearly $20 million. The state and county have partnered with PCs for People to provide in-home, high-speed internet access to roughly 25,000 Cuyahoga County households. The affected neighborhoods are some of the least connected in the county. The project will provide internet to these communities at a cost of $15 a month, and in some cases for free.
“The funding will mean that more residents in Cuyahoga County will soon be able to connect online with essential services including health care providers, employment services, and educational institutions,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “We are committed to closing the digital divide, whether due to lack of access or affordability, so that these critical services are available to all Ohioans.”
“This project is a result of focused efforts on both the state and local level to address a critical need in Cuyahoga County,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “In order to participate in the modern economy, education and healthcare system, Ohioans need access to broadband, and with this announcement, we are making that access a reality. As our administration continues to prioritize broadband expansion, we look forward to working with our partners on the local level, along with the private sector, to bridge the digital divide wherever we can.”
The Lt. Governor joined Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and other representatives from the county, PCs for People and Microsoft Airband at the Brooklyn Library outside of Cleveland for the announcement.
“Some residents are forced to choose between access to the internet and paying for their next meal. No one should ever have to make that choice,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “The State has pledged $9.7 million to match the County’s commitment to connect residents to affordable, high-speed internet. This initiative makes it clear that the partners understand that this is not just an investment in lasting infrastructure, but an investment into our residents’ well-being.”
PCs for People will build a fixed-wireless network that can support approximately 20,000 suburban households across 77 census tracts where more than 20 percent of the population does not have home internet. In addition, a wired approach will be used in multi-dwelling units such as apartment buildings and complexes, adding up to 5,000 households to reach the network capacity of 25,000.
“This initiative will provide valuable technology access to residents, not just through internet, but also through providing access to low-cost computers and digital skills training through the Cuyahoga County Public Libraries and other agencies across the community,” said PCs for People CEO Casey Sorensen.
Today’s announcement represents another broadband expansion project that builds upon the DeWine-Husted Administration’s efforts to expand and enhance broadband connectivity for families and businesses throughout Ohio.
Learn more at Broadband.Ohio.Gov.