Connecting Ohio to the World: Broadband

Democrats Deliver for Ohio

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Infrastructure

Reliable high-speed Internet is crucial for rural areas

Broadband internet is necessary for Ohioans to do their jobs, to participate equally in education, and receive adequate health care services. With more education and business occurring over the internet, lack of connectivity disadvantages students, residents, and businesses, particularly in rural communities.

Yet 14% of Ohio households do not have Internet access at all, and 2% live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, Ohio has no broadband infrastructure. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive for many families to afford it.

Under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Ohio will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 259,000 Ohioans who currently lack it.

In addition, 3,167,000 or 28% of people in Ohio will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access. Ohioans will also benefit from the $25 million allocated to protect the state against cyberattacks.

Internet access is not a luxury

It is time to recognize the critical importance of internet access for all Americans. It is time to place the same value on internet access that we place on electric power, potable water, and paved roads. Each is essential to a healthy and productive society, which is why we incur great expense to extend the availability of these necessities across the nation. And why we assure their safety, reliability, and affordability for all Americans through regulations and government oversight.
~center for democracy and technology

The USDA has found that farmers who do have access to broadband are able to adopt conservation programs more quickly and achieve higher crop yields.

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