PDT Staff Writer
New numbers from Connect Ohio unveiled this week show an improvement in broadband availability in the Appalachian region of Ohio.
The numbers were first shared with members of the Connect Appalachia Broadband Task Force meeting on Thursday.
The goal of the Connect Appalachia Broadband Task Force is to pull Appalachia Ohio to within state and national standards in broadband adoption by 2014 by identifying and coordinating resources required for facilitating affordable broadband access and driving adoption through digital literacy training.
Connect Ohio’s research shows that 97.57 percent of Ohio residents now have access to fixed broadband of 3 megabits per second download or higher. When compared to 2011 percentages 97.06 percent of Ohio residents now have access to fixed broadband of 3 megabits per second download or higher, that’s an increase of 23,300 homes.
Earlier this year, Connect Ohio released a technology assessment for Scioto County that shows improvement in computer ownership and access to broadband in the last two years.
Connect Ohio released a similar technology assessment for every county in the state, based on a 2011 survey of 1,000 residents. The assessment is based on the responses.
The state of Ohio Broadband adoption averages about 66 percent, in Scioto County broadband adoption is at 54 percent. In 2008 Scioto County’s broadband adoption rate was 39 percent.
At the time, Scioto County has 93 percent coverage of broadband, Adams is at 62 percent, Pike is at 92 percent, Jackson is at 80 percent, and Gallia is at 62 percent.
In May, Gov. John Kasich announced that Shawnee State University will be included in Phase Two of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) expansion.
According to officials this inclusion means an increase in Shawnee State’s bandwidth capacity from its current one gigabyte to an eventual 100 gigabytes, aiding in increased research capabilities, advancements with high-tech areas such as gaming simulation, and economic development.
The expected OARnet expansion will take place in late 2012 and will be available in 2013.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.