Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 2 on May 17 to help address Internet accessibility concerns around Ohio.
The bill creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program, allowing Internet service providers to apply for $20 million in 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 state budget discussions.
“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.