Every Ohio family and Ohio business should be able to have reliable, high-speed internet. You shouldn’t have to live in a big city or a wealthy suburb to have access to a crucial aspect of modern society and our economy.
Because of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we secured a dramatic investment that will expand reliable, high-speed broadband to reach 183,000 new Ohio households for the first time.
It’s one of the largest expansions of high-speed internet ever in our state.
Too many policymakers and executives assume that everyone has good internet access. They think everyone can easily get online, download any app or access any website, at any time. It’s elitist, and it’s left too many Ohioans behind.
It’s why when we wrote the infrastructure bill, we made sure that it not only included investment in broadband, but that this investment would be focused on places like Ohio, where large portions of the state have been left out.
We’re going to get resources out to Ohio communities to lay broadband cables in towns that have been ignored by big internet providers, in even the most rural parts of the state.
It’s an effort like what we did with rural electrification in the 1930s. With that project, we made a commitment that in the United States of America, the whole country – not just big cities, not just the coasts – would have world-class infrastructure to participate in the modern economy.
The country’s broken that promise, and allowed the digital divide to grow and grow. No more.
This will mean so many Ohioans can finally download forms, do homework, take telemedicine appointments, or simply watch a movie with their family.
And it’s going to mean more jobs for workers in the trades all over the state. You can’t outsource this work. This will be a massive installation project, and it will reach the kinds of communities that so often get passed over for investment and ignored by Washington and exploited by Wall Street.
Expanding broadband in small towns and rural Ohio will create construction and installation jobs in the short-term, and will allow communities to grow the local economy in the long term.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.