COLUMBUS (AP) – 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.
If the plan released Thursday is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the aggressive blueprint for expanding and improving broadband access across the state also would boost local governments’ chances of landing federal grants.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio’s lack of connectivity is putting the state at a disadvantage. The plan comes as digital giants, including Microsoft and Facebook, are working to provide connectivity in rural, often poor areas of the U.S.