Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said he’s tired of waiting for internet service providers to come forward with ideas on how to expand broadband and high speed internet in Ohio. So he’s offering up some state-owned options to those companies to get them on board.
The state is asking if providers want access to infrastructure such as easements along state highways, the state’s fiber-optic network and ODOT cell phone towers.
Husted said it’s an economic imperative to get broadband to nearly 1 million Ohioans who don’t have it in rural and inner-city areas.
“I’ve heard for a long time that the private sector will take care of this, but hasn’t taken care of it,” Husted says. “So we need to nudge them to get them engaged in helping us address this issue.”
Providers around the country say it’s expensive to expand broadband, especially in hilly and remote terrain, so Husted said the use of this state-owned infrastructure could help.
However, another reason broadband hasn’t come to these populations is that they’re often in small clusters, and often have less income.