Work starts on Horizon Internet upgrades

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Work starts on Horizon Internet upgrades

Chillicothe Gazette – The long-anticipated project to ensure southern and central Ohioans will have better access to broadband cable officially began Monday morning.

Horizon, a Chillicothe company, began installing cable lines in Logan to mark the start of the “Connecting Appalachia” project, which will provide high-capacity fiber-optic broadband services with speeds up to 10 gigabits per second to 34 Appalachian Ohio counties.

The project was made possible through a $66.4 million Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program grant funded with stimulus money. Horizon provided 30 percent of the project costs, bringing the total project cost to $94.9 million.

As Horizon crews began connecting cables on overhead telephone lines Monday morning, Horizon employees, business leaders and members of government came out to support the start of the historic project with a ceremony in Logan at the Family Health Care Center.

“If we want to promote economic development throughout Ohio, we need to ensure that businesses and households have broadband access,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who sent a letter to be read at the ceremony. “Ohio’s rural communities have been overlooked for too long, but today’s groundbreaking is great news for southeastern Ohio.”

A representative from Rep. Bob Gibbs’ office also read a statement from the congressman, a Lakeville Republican who represents Ohio’s 18th District. Although Gibbs criticized the project’s use of stimulus funds during his campaign last year, he stood behind it in his remarks on Monday, saying in a statement “for too long, the geographic conditions of Appalachia made it too easy to forget.”

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