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Government/Politics

Ohio Opens $250M Grant Program For Broadband Expansion Projects

Gov. Mike DeWine gestures during the press conference on July 1, 2021, after he signed the state budget hours before.
Dan Konik
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The program was created to connect underserved areas.

The state is now accepting submissions for broadband expansion projects to reach regions of Ohio that don't have reliable access to the internet.

The millions of dollars in broadband expansion money was approved in the FY22-23 state budget.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) has said connecting people to reliable internet can improve access to jobs and education.

"It will give us the flexibility to solve problems in rural Ohio, in urban Ohio, and to invest in new innovations that can solve problems in ways that we never imagined just a few years ago," Husted said during a press conference in July after Gov. Mike DeWine signed the budget bill.

DeWine's office says there is an estimate of 300,000 households in Ohio that are not connected to broadband, leaving 1 million people without access to reliable internet.

DeWine has said broadband is just part of its targeted areas of investment, along with putting money towards infrastructure, state parks, and mental health projects.