Scioto County part of broadband initiative

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Scioto County part of broadband initiative

Portsmouth Daily Times – Scioto is one of 34 counties in southeast Ohio that will receive expanded broadband access.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, cheered Monday’s groundbreaking of a project that will expand access to broadband for 34 counties in Appalachia. The project would deploy more than 1,900 miles of fiber optic network to more than 705,000 households and connect nearly 600 community anchors. The funds were awarded to the Ohio Middle Mile Consortium, which Brown helped to facilitate after he fought to devote $2.5 billion worth of Recovery Act broadband funding for rural broadband projects. Brown said he has fought to secure additional funding for broadband investments. During Senate consideration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Brown authored an amendment to increase USDA funding by $2.5 billion to target rural and underserved communities.

Lauren Kulik of Brown’s office said the company is based in Chillicothe, and in addition to Scioto, the counties benefiting from the CAOMMC include: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.

“If we want to promote economic development throughout Ohio, we need to ensure that businesses and households have broadband access,” Brown said. “Ohio’s rural communities have been overlooked for too long, but today’s groundbreaking is great news for southeastern Ohio. Ohio Middle Mile and Horizon’s cooperation will help promote economic growth and improve the competitiveness of Ohio communities in underserved areas. This is an investment in the future of our state.”

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