Rural Internet

View of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center, which also houses an antenna to support local internet coverage.
Eye On Ohio / Ohio Center For Investigative Juornalism

Computer trainer and former library aide Shenee King has a bird’s eye view when it comes to digital inequity.

woman working on a laptop computer
Marco Verch / Flickr

A strategic plan would extend high-speed internet to about 1 million unserved or underserved Ohioans by using rural routes and highways previously off-limits to private development.

With fewer than 100 days left before the 2020 census is fully underway, rural communities caught in the digital divide are bracing for a potential undercount that could make it harder for them to advocate for resources over the next decade.

Now-Lt. Gov. Jon Husted speaking at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Government Day in Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

About 1 million Ohioans, mostly in Appalachia, lack high-speed internet service and the state's highway corridors may hold the key to addressing the stubborn problem, a report released Wednesday concluded.

woman working on a laptop computer
Marco Verch / Flickr

Microsoft Corp. and an Ohio-based provider of telecommunications services announced an agreement Tuesday to extend broadband internet access to underserved rural areas of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois over the next three years.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted at the Opportunity Zones Showcase in Columbus, where he unveiled the marketing platform for opportunity zones to share details on places and projects available for investment.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

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.

Just over half of Native Americans living on American Indian reservations or other tribal lands with a computer have access to high-speed internet service, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The low rate of subscription to a high-speed internet service — 53 percent — in these often rugged, rural areas underscores the depth of the digital divide between Indian Country and the rest of the U.S. Between 2013 and 2017, 82 percent of households nationally with a computer reported having a subscription to a broadband internet service.

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Kids squirm in their classroom seats at Tallmadge Elementary School in Lancaster. Ally Konkler, a 5th grader here, is part of a new generation that has grown up with wireless internet. But she says her home WiFi is slow and not so good for schoolwork.

Sam Hendren / WOSU

Many rural Ohioans could soon be getting broadband access for the first time thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Agile networks.

Nick Evans / WOSU

Main Street in downtown Alexandria stretches a little more than half a mile along State Route 37. There’s a post office on the corner, a couple churches and a library down the road, and a coffee shop right across the street.

cable modem
Martinelle / Pixabay

Some 300,000 households and more than 88,000 business in Ohio have no access to broadband internet. Republican and Democratic state lawmakers are working together to find a cheaper way to bring high-speed internet to rural parts of Ohio.