USDA funds will help build broadband infrastructure in rural Ohio

Money from the government will help build broadband networks in Ohio.
Money from the government will help build broadband networks in Ohio.
People who use farm equipment in rural Ohio may have a hard time getting the kind of internet connectivity they desire, though a recent effort may help that.

According to Governor Ted Strickland's office, the Consolidated Electric Cooperative received $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to construct a 166-mile broadband network in the northern part of the state. In order to secure the funds, a public-private partnership known as Connect Ohio compiled data and acted as a guide through the process.

"These funds will allow Consolidated Electric Cooperative to play a key role in bridging the digital divide in the North Central Ohio area and support economic growth in the region," Strickland said.

The funds are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which set aside $7.2 billion for the creation of broadband networks. In addition to the funds offered through the act for internet infrastructure, the federal government also engaged in a tour of rural communities throughout the country.

The goal of the tour was to get input from rural residents on how the government could improve communications in those areas, which would include developing broadband capabilities.