Access to high-quality, high-speed internet is vital for the future of Ohio’s economy and citizens, but internet availability is not instantaneous. It requires investment in infrastructure to make sure everyone can use it. For a growing number of Ohio areas, this investment comes from local communities and public-private partnerships. Read on for answers to common questions on community broadband networks.

What is a community broadband network?

Community broadband network is the name given to programs managed by cities, townships, counties and other organizations to increase access to high-speed internet for Ohio business and citizens.

How does a community broadband network work?

Each network is different, but almost all of them involve a community investing in installing the physical infrastructure to support faster internet and then giving internet service providers access to this new infrastructure. Community broadband networks work with internet service providers to ensure Ohio has internet access for the 21st century.

So community broadband networks aren’t internet service providers?

In almost all cases, no. Community broadband networks are typically facilitators. They have installed fiber optics or other equipment to provide the infrastructure for high-speed internet for Ohio businesses and citizens, but generally community broadband networks are not the internet service provider. Many community broadband networks allow multiple internet service providers to use their networks.

Why do we need community networks? Can’t internet service providers just offer service?

Communities need high-speed internet right now and sometimes are ignored for their requests for proper broadband infrastructure in our communities and cities. In these cases, community broadband networks are stepping in and building the infrastructure that has been neglected. Today, over 30 Ohio communities already provide community broadband networks.

Do community broadband networks actually help with broadband access?

Absolutely. These community networks are providing the high-speed internet needed for the economy and opportunities of today and tomorrow. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the resources page for independent studies and research.