MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WDTN) — Rural parts of Ohio will soon have better access to high-speed internet. On Monday, Governor Mike DeWine made a stop in Middletown to sign a bill that sets aside $20 million for broadband.
DeWine announced a pilot program that’ll give students and their families in rural communities access to high-speed internet. Amanda Elementary School in Middletown will get $120,000, which will provide access to 400 families for $15 per month beginning next school year.
School officials at Amanda said the program will help tackle the homework gap. “It’s a problem facing communities where students and kids can’t access the internet because the infrastructure is inadequate, their families can’t afford it, or both of those circumstances come into play,” said Marlon Styles Jr., Supt. of Middletown City Schools.
Governor DeWine said H.B. 2 immediately sets aside $20 million to expand broadband access. In addition to the $20 million, he has asked the legislature for another $200 million.
Lt. Gov Husted said it’s important to create an inclusive environment as we come out of the pandemic, with many families still working from home and going to school online.
“As jobs are being created, we now are going to give more families an opportunity to participate in the modern economy, education, and healthcare system. That’s what this is about, helping everyone succeed, and giving them the tools to access the world and achieve their God-given hopes and aspirations,” he said.