Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative
Formed in late 2011, the Governor's Office of Appalachia in conjunction with Connect Ohio and Chesapeake Energy established the two-year Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative (CABI), to address the broadband divide facing rural Appalachian Ohio. The Task Force was administered by Connect Ohio and is made up of public, private, and nonprofit leaders.
Mission: The Connect Appalachia Broadband (CABI) Task Force intends 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.
The Task Force goal was to improve access by utilizing the successful local-level efforts of Connect Ohio's last-mile technical assistance team by broadening projects to a regional level and utilizing Connect Ohio's Every Citizen Online free basic computer and Internet training program to aid in increased adoption.
Findings from Connect Ohio's 2013 residential technology assessment show a 63% home broadband adoption rate in Appalachian Ohio, a ten percentage point increase from 2012. The CABI Task Force feels it has been instrumental in reducing the number of unserved households in Appalachian Ohio.
Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative Fund
The CABI Fund was created in January of 2013 to provide a computer and technology training to all Appalachian Ohio households in need. The fund is administered by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and established through an initial investment from Chesapeake Energy, to provide individuals, corporations, and foundations a convenient platform to participate in the cause to help Appalachian Ohio households get connected.
To donate or find out more, visit AppalachianOhio.org.
Financial contribution from Intel, Chesapeake Energy, as well as individual and private donations, allowed the CABI Fund to donate more than 35 computers throughout the Appalachian Ohio region in 2013. The CABI Fund is one component of CABI that will carry on beyond 2014.