New Wireless Broadband Tower in Tuscarawas County Will Bring High-Speed Internet to Unserved and Underserved Communities
Digital Access Ohio will partner with Smart Way Communications to provide last-mile high-speed internet to customers with assistance from JobsOhio
Tuscarawas County, Ohio – Digital Access Ohio, LLC, an innovative middle-mile infrastructure company, announced today the launch of a new wireless broadband tower creating new high-speed internet service in Tuscarawas County.
Digital Access Ohio was formed in 2021 as a partnership between Canton-based Agile Networks and JobsOhio. The mission of Digital Access Ohio is to build, own, market, and operate up to 75 new telecommunication colocation tower sites, principally in rural Ohio. Digital Access Ohio will upgrade 135 existing towers in the state. Wireless Internet Service Providers can leverage this infrastructure to provide last-mile broadband capabilities across the state.
Smart Way Communications, LLC will be the first entity to utilize the open-access network constructed by Digital Access Ohio to provide last-mile high-speed internet to customers. Digital Access Ohio and Smart Way anticipate that the activation of this new tower will help facilitate internet access for as many as 2,400 households and 125 businesses in the area surrounding the tower.
“We are excited for the impact this will have on rural living in Ohio,” said Ryan Grewell, Smart way Communications General Manager.
The initiative supports Ohio's Statewide Broadband Strategy, which the DeWine-Husted Administration established in 2019 to improve access for the unserved and underserved groups.
“You cannot be part of the modern economy, education, or healthcare system without access to high-speed internet," said Lt. Governor Husted. “That is why, since the beginning of this administration, we have worked through BroadbandOhio to enhance and expand broadband throughout the state. Today's announcement will be encouraging news to those lacking access in the region and another step towards closing the digital divide in Ohio.”
The initiative is also a component of JobsOhio's Inclusive Economic Development strategy, which ensures all Ohioans have equitable access to essential resources and economic opportunities. Additional information regarding locations to be served by the Digital Access Ohio network, including tower locations, will be made available by Digital Access Ohio in the future.
“Investing in dependable access to broadband strengthens Ohio’s economic competitiveness and is a core pillar of our inclusive economic development strategy,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “Broadband is essential to expanding a modern economy and talented workforce and will enable Ohio’s economy to access thousands of hard-working, creative people.”
“JobsOhio and the State of Ohio have developed an innovative strategy to expand high-speed broadband access, including through fixed wireless,” said Lawrence Chu, Vice Chairman and Global Head of Telecommunications at Jefferies and former Special Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission. “Building out high quality middle mile infrastructure networks - such as Digital Access Ohio - will be critical to enable fixed-wireless solutions not only in the Midwest but nationally.”
“We are pleased to be part of the announcement by JobsOhio, in cooperation with Digital Access Ohio and Smart Way Communications, of the investment in this new infrastructure and tower,” said State Senator Al Landis. “This project is a great step forward in providing high-speed internet access to all Ohioans, especially those in the 31st Senate District. My constituents will now be better equipped with broadband internet access desperately needed in their homes, workplaces, and schools.”
“We are well into the digital era, and unfortunately, many places, like Tuscarawas County, could not stay connected and involved in a modern economy,” said State Rep. Brett Hillyer. “I am grateful to the commitment of JobsOhio, Agile Networks, and Smart Way Communications in helping our community stay involved in this modern world.”
Expanding broadband infrastructure is a vital issue impacting Ohio's economic competitiveness and is a critical resource for individuals seeking to participate in the modern economy. Nearly one-million Ohioans need access to high-speed internet, according to BroadbandOhio. Ohio ranked 17th among the 50 states according to BroadbandNow's "Best and Worst States for Internet Coverage, Prices and Speeds, 2021," and Ohio ranked 26th among the 50 states according to U.S. News & World Report for high-speed internet access. With the continued execution of the state's broadband strategy and complementary efforts such as DAO, Ohio can improve its rankings and support economic development and inclusion. This will help to bring access to opportunities such as online learning, telehealth, remote work, and many others.
About Digital Access Ohio
Fast and reliable Internet is necessary for the 21st century as more Ohioans are utilizing remote school, work, and healthcare services than ever before. However, many Ohioans in rural counties need access to broadband Internet, cutting them off from essential online services and opportunities. Digital Access Ohio's vision is to create a network and communications infrastructure that will help eliminate a significant portion of this digital divide in Ohio, helping get broadband Internet services to the underserved communities of Ohio's rural counties. We build the necessary infrastructure and partner with local Internet service providers to help get vital services to homes and businesses.
About Smart Way Communications, LLC.
Smart Way Communications, LLC is Eastern Ohio's High-Speed Wireless Internet Provider and data services company serving rural & underserved communities in Eastern Ohio. Smart Way Communications, LLC is a high-speed wireless internet and data services company headquartered in Tuscarawas County. Smart Way provides wireless internet connection to residents and businesses in the county, including rural and underserved areas, and is expanding into new areas. Smart Way prioritizes improving infrastructure and upgrading its network to provide the fastest, most reliable service. For more information, visit thinksmartway.com.
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