By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
Connect Ohio recently 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.
According to connectohio.org, Connect Ohio is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and is working to blanket Ohio with broadband Internet access and dramatically improve the use of related technology. This comprehensive initiative works across all sectors of the state economy to accelerate the availability and use of broadband.
Amanda Murphy, spokeswoman for Connect Ohio, said surveys are done every two years.
“The state of Ohio broadband adoption averages about 66 percent, in Scioto County broadband adoption is at 54 percent. Those numbers are not too far off but when you are talking numbers of people that can be a significant number,” Murphy said. She said Scioto County’s broadband adoption rate was 39 percent in 2008.
“When it comes to computer ownership, Scioto County is at 73 percent with the state averaging 80 percent,” Murphy said.
Murphy said Scioto County has a 93 percent coverage of broadband, when you include mobile. That is higher than some other Appalachian Ohio counties, she said.
“Adams is at 62 percent, Pike is at 92 percent, Jackson is at 80 percent, Gallia is at 62 percent. Scioto is geography covered, especially when it comes to mobile broadband,” Murphy said.
On April 13, Connect Ohio released the report “Bridging the Divide: Broadband and Businesses in Appalachian Ohio.” It showed that nearly 40 percent of businesses (or 21,000 of them) in Appalachian Ohio do not use broadband. According to the report the businesses cite availability as their biggest hurdle to getting broadband.
The report cites the creation of the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative (CABI) Task Force as a tool for Appalachia.
The report states the mission of the CABI task force is to pull Appalachian 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. The Task Force will improve access by broadening the Connect Ohio Last-Mile program to a regional level and will increase adoption through its Every Citizen Online program.
According to connectohio.org, Every Citizen Online, “provides free computer training sessions at public libraries, community colleges, community organizations and educational centers throughout Ohio and teaches new users how to access the Internet and how to best utilize all the Internet has to offer.”
In Scioto County, the Portsmouth Public Library offers free computer training classes. Next week at the library will be offering Keyboarding at 5 p.m., on Monday, April 30; Computer Basics at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 1; Computers for Seniors at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 3 and Microsoft Excel at 11 a.m. Friday, May 4, at the main branch.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.