WHY ACCESS MATTERS
High-quality, high-speed, affordable internet access is absolutely vital for the future of Ohio citizens
For everyday citizens and especially those in underserved communities, internet access is not just a want, it’s a need. Internet infrastructure is as important as utilities such as roads and water in connecting our communities. 87% of people polled during the COVID-19 pandemic said internet access has been essential or important to them.
Unfortunately, Ohio is ranked 37th in the nation for connectivity and internet access remains an issue across the entire state. For more than 300,000 households in Ohio representing close to one million Ohioans, a lack of access to high-speed internet is a critical barrier.
Broadband Access Ohio is committed to securing high-quality internet access for vital needs such as healthcare, education, public safety and other essential services for all Ohioans.
High-quality, high-speed, affordable internet access is essential for Ohio’s growing economy, both globally and locally.
High-speed community broadband networks attract business development and fuel innovation and economic growth. In order for Ohio to be globally competitive in attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, our communities need flexibility.
In this new global economy, connected communities generate wealth and opportunities for their citizens. We should not be denying these opportunities for any Ohio community. All people, regardless of location, stand to benefit economically with access to high speed internet networks.
Community broadband networks were born out of a need for better internet infrastructure for all Ohioans.
Our coalition represents a broad spectrum of public entities and public-private partnerships across the state that are committed to investing in high-speed internet access for all.
Today, over 30 Ohio communities host broadband networks. These community networks are filling vital roles in providing connectivity to our schools, hospitals, and public safety services. They are open to all citizens as a way to ensure residents and businesses have high-speed and reliable broadband service.
For many of our coalition members, the community established a public-private partnership, providing and facilitating the installation of infrastructure allowing private internet providers to offer service to the area.
Community broadband networks improve access and quality for everyone.
Community broadband networks help improve overall quality of all local internet access.
According to a study in 2020, counties in states with broadband funding programs and limited restrictions on broadband tend to have more internet availability than their counterparts. Research indicates that by simply existing in an area, community broadband networks often lead to lower prices and better service from private-sector internet service providers.
Local decisions about internet services should be made at the community level.
Broadband internet in Ohio isn’t a one-size fits all technology. Our states need a variety of options to adequately provide broadband service to those who work and live in our communities.
Communities should not have their hands tied when they realize the necessary service is not available for their constituents, and should have the option to provide essential internet access to their residents and businesses.