Results from Connect Ohio’s analysis could be used to expand high-speed Internet in Gallia County
COLUMBUS – Connect Ohio staff presented Gallia County officials with information that paves the way for greater broadband access for county residents.
Connect Ohio’s technical outreach team has been working for months and provided a model for broadband expansion that is financially viable and sustainable at a meeting Wednesday in Gallipolis. Gallia County officials in attendance include Harold Montgomery, commissioner, Melissa Clark, economic and community development director, Jake Bodimer, economic and community development assistant director, as well as representatives from JB Nets, a local wireless Internet service provider, and Kinglsey Meyer, CIO of Rio Grande University.
Connect Ohio Technical Outreach Manager Bart Winegar and coordinator Ira Dye presented attendees with the data collection, cost estimates, and propagation studies for the expansion model customized for Gallia County, which can be utilized by an Internet service provider to bring broadband service to unserved and underserved areas.
“We have been waiting for information like this to put together an accurate business plan,” said Stephen Kline of JB Nets.
Gallia County officials have voiced their commitment toward creating a favorable environment for broadband expansion to occur.
“I am very encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of Gallia County officials to support broadband expansion and to leverage the propagation and business case analysis,” said Winegar.
JB Nets is utilizing the model presented by Connect Ohio to create a business plan for possible expansion throughout the county. The next step toward making the expansion a reality will be forming agreements with controlling authorities of area towers and infrastructure to enable the placement of broadband connections.
According to Connect Ohio’s 2011 Consumer Technology Assessment for Gallia County, only 42% of households receive broadband service to the home, significantly less than the state average of 66%. Below are additional Gallia County technology figures:
• 67% of Gallia County residents own a computer, which is less than the state average of 80%
• Of the 33% of residents who do not own a computer, 71% claim they do not need a computer, 21% say computers are too complicated, and 20% say computers are too expensive
• 75% of residents access the Internet from home or some other location
• The average monthly cost for home broadband service in Gallia County is $50.83, above the state average of $43.41
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