Of the many lessons learned during the COVID-19 experience this year, one of the most prevalent is that access to broadband is absolutely essential. Even before COVID-19, it was evident to the DeWine Administration that Ohio’s underrepresented communities needed broadband access to ensure equitable education, economic opportunity, and access to advanced digital services, such as telehealth.
JobsOhio recognizes this need and has been working in alignment with the Administration on a significant expansion of broadband coverage throughout Ohio. It’s an essential element to ensure Ohio remains competitive and that our economic recovery is sustainable. Most importantly, it’s what Ohioans deserve.
Working with our network partners and stakeholders, JobsOhio is determined to explore creative ways to help Ohio businesses and Ohioans connect digitally to fully participate in the growth of the information economy.
What is Broadband?
According to the Federal Communications Commission, broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is readily available and faster than the traditional dial-up access. Broadband’s high speed internet access is available via different technologies including digital subscriber line, cable modem, fiber optics, wireless, and satellite.
Expanding Broadband Access to All Ohioans
Currently, nearly 700,000 Ohioans do not have access to high-speed internet. Almost one million Ohioans can only access high-speed internet through a single wired provider and more than 215,000 Ohioans have no access to any wired internet providers.
Near-universal broadband coverage in Ohio could create 15,000 to 25,000 new jobs and increase the state’s GDP by $1—$3 billion. Telework/remote work, telemedicine, and remote learning have emerged as growing opportunities in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starlink Service by SpaceX
Understanding the challenges and opportunities that are before our state, the DeWine Administration, JobsOhio, BroadbandOhio, and the city of Marysville have partnered on a broadband satellite pilot program through SpaceX called Starlink.
The pilot, the largest of its kind in the Midwest for Starlink, will test the delivery of SpaceX’s Starlink space-based high-speed internet to 90 households and 10 small businesses — all of which are underserved with broadband —in the Allen Township area of Union County, outside of Marysville.
The selection of Ohio by Starlink is yet more evidence that industry is looking to Ohio as a practical, innovative state.
New Satellite High Speed Internet Service Will Connect Underserved Households and Businesses in Central Ohio
Starlink service by SpaceX has partnered with BroadbandOhio and JobsOhio to pilot providing high-speed internet access to select participants in central Ohio.