Legislative progress is being made in Ohio for rural broadband. The Ohio Senate passed SB 8 this week, allocating $20 million to build the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program, allowing for internet service providers to apply for grants that will help fund the infrastructure needed to provide faster internet access to underserved rural Ohio communities. There are also extensive measures for broadband included in Governor Mike DeWine’s proposed budget.
“The necessity for reliable broadband in rural Ohio has been one of the top priority issues for Ohio Farm Bureau for years and the challenges that come with inadequate internet connections have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “Senate passage of SB 8 is a great first step in making a meaningful investment to put all Ohioans on a level playing field in a world that relies on broadband access to succeed.”