Yesterday, according to Columbus Business First, Governor Strickland announced that the State of Ohio has been awarded $30 million to improve broadband access in 28 western counties:
Gov. Ted Strickland said the funding will support the construction of 700 miles of high-capacity fiber to rural and underserved communities in 28 western counties. More than 300 jobs could be created as a result of the project.
The consortium is tied to the Ohio Academic Resources Network, the technology arm of the University System of Ohio.
In related news, broadband use in Ohio has been growing faster than the national average. As the Youngstown Business Journal stated:
Increased broadband use can have a significant impact in improving economic conditions — luring businesses to communities and helping people save money and access better job opportunities through the Web. According to a report from the Brookings Institution, broadband investment can create more than 500,000 new jobs over the next five years. An economic impact report produced by Connected Nation shows that Ohio could see an economic impact of $5.1 billion by accelerating broadband availability and use to enable new job growth, telecommuting opportunities, and health care cost savings, among other benefits.
One of Governor Strickland’s early initiatives was the creation of Create Ohio, a public-private partnership to expand and improve broadband access throughout rural Ohio. As the Governor’s official website states:
Just as building roads linked Ohio’s communities to the national economy a century ago, Governor Strickland believes that connecting every region of Ohio to high-speed Internet will link our communities to the global economy. To close the digital divide, he established Connect Ohio, a public-private partnership that works with technology-minded businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate access to, and literacy of, technology across the state and help achieve the goal of ensuring every region of Ohio has Internet connectivity.
Through Connect Ohio, we have formed teams in each county to develop broadband plans for our local communities. These plans-combined with our broadband availability maps and research on residential and business technology use-should help providers identify places where demand for service has been unmet, as well as areas for future investment.
This is more of the Strickland record John Kasich and the RGA wish to pretend doesn’t exist.