Lawmakers to bring broadband to rural Ohio


2.4 million households in Ohio don't have broadband internet access. Now, there's a push to change that.

Without broadband, families deal with either no internet access or sluggish access. They are on data usage plans and have to watch how much they use. This becomes a big problem for people working from home or children trying to do homework, much of which is now online.

There is a move to change this. A House bill is now in committee. Consolidated Electric Cooperative is starting the effort to provide broadband to a half dozen central Ohio counties. That project will cost $40 million and take three to five years.

“Everywhere there’s power poles, we’re going to attach fiber-optic cable to every one of those power poles,” said Fiber Division COO Doug Payauys. “Where there’s no power poles, we have to put those underground which that’s what really drives the price up.”

House Bill 378 would provide $100 million in grant money to build broadband infrastructure in rural Ohio.