Broadband Access in Ohio Nearing 100 Percent

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New research unveiled Wednesday by Connect Ohio shows that the broadband availability gap in Ohio is shrinking.

Currently 97.62% of Ohio residents have access to fixed broadband speeds of 3 Mbps/768 Kbps.

The number of households with no access to any fixed broadband service is now at 59,200, compared to 64,800 last October.

This is the seventh comprehensive broadband availability data refresh since the State Broadband Initiative started in 2010 with the greatest growth in availability seen in networks with speeds greater than 6 Mpbs/1.5 Mbps.

“Over the past six months the concentration of investments has been to upgrade existing networks while expansion remained stagnant,” said Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio.

Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:
• Access to broadband speeds of at least 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload continues to rise, climbing 6.45 percent to 4.1 million households in six months (excluding mobile and satellite services).
• 97.62 percent of Ohio households can access broadband at advertised speeds of 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload (excluding mobile and satellite services), up from 97.55% last October.
• Broadband at the basic 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload tier is available to 98.71% of Ohio households, up from 98.59 percent last October (excluding mobile and satellite services), leaving approximately 59,200 Ohio households unable to connect to basic high-speed Internet.
• In terms of broadband competition, 93.93 percent of Ohio households have the ability to choose broadband service from two or more non-mobile providers (also excludes satellite providers).

Last year, Connect Ohio released an innovative new broadband mapping tool called My ConnectView TM offering unmatched views of Ohio’s technology landscape.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data.

To report that broadband is not available in a given area, consumers can fill out a broadband inquiry.

Nonprofit Connect Ohio has been working since 2008 to ensure that Ohio residents have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption,
and use.

Part of that work includes maintaining detailed analysis of broadband availability across the state to support broadband planning efforts. Through its Connected program, Connect Ohio is currently working with six communities across the state to support comprehensive community broadband planning efforts and provide technical assistance.

Connect Ohio’s research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program for Ohio, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The data were gathered in accordance with the requirements of the NTIA. The process begins by contacting all known providers in the state and providing information about the broadband mapping project.

Information on broadband service areas is collected from each provider through voluntary participation and is subject to confidentiality protections. Connected Nation strives to maintain a flexible mapping process to be able to collect data from providers in a variety of formats based on providers’ technical capabilities and resources.

This article was contributed by Connect Ohio.