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Michelle Bretscher, APR
Vice President, Marketing and Communication
W: (614) 225.6908
June 22, 2012
New State Broadband Access Figures Released as 2 Appalachian Counties Receive $100,000
From a Connect Ohio press release:
Connect Ohio research shows 20,419 Appalachian households have received access to fixed broadband speeds of 3 Mbps download since last year
Columbus - Connect Ohio unveiled new research today at the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative (CABI) Task Force meeting, which shows the broadband availability gap in Appalachian Ohio and the state is improving.
The research reveals 97.57% of Ohio residents now have access to fixed broadband of 3 Mbps download or higher, compared to 97.06% last year. In less than a year, 23,300 homes received access or upgraded service in Ohio and 20,419 of these homes are in Appalachia.
Connect Ohio has been working since 2008 to ensure that Ohioans have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use. In December 2011, the CABI task force was formed by Connect Ohio and in conjunction with the Governor's Office of Appalachia and Chesapeake Energy to bring Appalachia Ohio to within state and national broadband standards by 2014.
"I'm thrilled to see the improvement in broadband access numbers, especially the concentrated increase in the Appalachia area," said Stu Johnson, executive director for Connect Ohio. "There are several factors that contributed to the increase in access, including Connect Ohio's provider validation efforts, organic expansion and upgrades to telecommunication, cable, and wireless network infrastructure, as well as the formation of the Connect Appalachia Broadband task force and the commitment of the members to effectively increase awareness to keep CABI's mission at the forefront of Ohioans' minds."
The findings of the new broadband availability research includes:
-98.4% of households in Ohio have access to broadband of at Least 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload, leaving 73,850 households unable to connect to basic high-speed Internet (excludes mobile and satellite services)
-1.36% of Ohio households have access to broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload. In October 2011, only .7% of households in Ohio had access to these broadband speeds (excludes mobile and satellite services)
-92.6% of Ohio households have the ability to choose broadband service from two or more non-mobile broadband providers, up from 87.8% in 2010 (excludes mobile and satellite services)
-87.5% of households in Appalachian Ohio have access to broadband of at least 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload, compared to 84.0% in 2011 (excludes mobile and satellite services). Note: The data in this report are subject to data validation.
Jason Wilson, director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia, announced a significant funding award to be granted to two counties in an effort to aid existing broadband expansion plans. Carroll and Washington County projects have each been granted $100,000 from the State Appalachian Development Program to assist with their broadband projects. Both projects continue to gather the final funding needed to move forward and connect thousands of underserved households.
"I believe the investment in Carroll and Washington Counties, along with the work of the Task Force, will make a great impact on the region, and we will continue to see improvements in the number of homes receiving service," said Wilson. "We are making great strides toward our goal and each step improves the lives of those Ohioans living in the Appalachian region."
The $100,000 award allows for Carroll County's project to go into immediate action.
"We plan to hold town hall meetings with county residents and CUE Band LLC, the Internet Service Provider we've contracted with for the expansion project, in July," said Tom Wheaton, Carroll County Commissioner. "Our intention is an August 2012 rollout. The initial rollout will provide broadband access to approximately 8,000 households, with plans to eventually provide service to the entire county, including the 2,500 households with no type of broadband service available to them."
About Connect Ohio:
Connect Ohio, a division of Connected Nation, is a nonprofit, technology-neutral public-private partnership that works with telecommunications providers, business and community leaders, information technology companies, researchers, public agencies, libraries, and universities in an effort to help extend affordable high-speed Internet service to every Ohio household. For more information about what Connect Ohio is doing to accelerate technology in Ohio's communities, visit http://www.connectohio.org.
About Governor's Office of Appalachia:
As an advocate for Ohio's 32 Appalachian counties, the Governor's Office of Appalachia works on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C. to promote the region's assets and to support local, regional, state, and federal initiatives. These initiatives contribute to the economic, educational, and community prosperity of the people of Ohio's Appalachian region.
About Chesapeake Energy:
Chesapeake is the second-largest producer of natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. Chesapeake owns leading positions in the Barnett, Haynesville, Bossier, Marcellus and Pearsall natural gas shale plays and in the Granite Wash, Cleveland, Tonkawa, Mississippi Lime, Bone Spring, Avalon, Wolfcamp, Wolfberry, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Three Forks/Bakken and Utica unconventional liquids plays. The company has also vertically integrated its operations and owns substantial midstream, compression, drilling, trucking, pressure pumping and other oilfield service assets.