Connect Ohio staff had the opportunity to discuss broadband in Ohio with Bethany Peck, senior legislative assistant for Congressman Robert Latta (5th District, Ohio), Tuesday.
Congressman Latta is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Peck handles telecommunication policy for Congressman Latta and came to Connect Ohio exploring first-hand perspectives on broadband availability throughout the state, existing barriers to expansion, and what the National Broadband Plan can mean for Ohio and beyond.
Connect Ohio Technical Outreach Manager Bart Winegar gave Peck an overview of Connect Ohio’s interactive resource BroadbandStat, which shows by address what households have broadband access and those that are still unserved (according to data gathered from more than 100 broadband providers throughout Ohio). Existing barriers to broadband service in rural areas and approaches to overcoming those barriers were discussed, as well as Connect Ohio’s customized propagation studies and business case analyses available to Ohio communities engaged in finding last-mile broadband connectivity.
“I’m extremely impressed to find Connect Ohio going to every effort to help ensure broadband expansion throughout the state,” said Peck. “The organization’s reporting, county profiles, and online resources are very helpful to us.”
High-speed Internet availability’s affect on economic development was also a key topic of the meeting. Peck was happy to hear of the Every Citizen Online free basic computer and Internet training for Ohio adults and how the program is complementing broadband expansion efforts.
“I really enjoyed meeting with Bethany (Peck) and am happy she found Connect Ohio’s programs beneficial to not only Ohioans, but to Congressman Latta’s staff and possibly the communications and technology subcommittee,” said Winegar
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