Broadband access has been an issue for decades and this month we spoke with a community that has been working on finding solutions for that same amount of time. New Albany, Ohio is not only looking at what has worked for their community in the past but anticipating the future needs of generations.
It’s been more than a decade since New Albany began working to connect their community. At the time, a company coming to town partnered with the city to lay down additional fiber, agreeing to a 20 year lease. Years later, a lot has changed with additional private providers coming to town but a need remains for greater broadband access in New Albany.
“Intel is impacting all of our decisions,” said Joseph Stefanov, City Manager.
Over the past few months New Albany has become synonymous with Intel and the announcement of this investment. Stefanov doubts their work to expand broadband is what sealed the deal with Intel but says the announcement has opened possibilities for the community.
It’s not just an investment like Intel’s that has made communities readdress their connection needs. Stefanov recognizes that people not only need broadband access but high level service.
“We have people that are high volume users, high capacity users and I think that they would love to maximize their upload and download speeds,” said Stefanov.
Stefanov believes these users and the community as a whole will need additional fiber and it’s something the city is already considering.
“I think as we become more of a suburb of Columbus… I think as we build out, as we land a lot of these tech giants, my guess is that most people would believe that we have all of the fiber that we need but I think there is still an opportunity for improvement,” said Stefanov.
As New Albany plans for the future they are also keeping a close eye on policies regarding communities and broadband. Stefanov says being a part of Broadband Access Ohio is “really beneficial”.
“I think we have a long way to go in the state and I think anything that we can do to give more freedom for creative communities to go out there and leverage partnerships… I think that’s going to be critical to providing consistent, high performance infrastructure to the individual communities and the region,” said Stefanov.