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Blog // Connect Ohio

RAA Services Partners with Columbiana County Airport to Expand Broadband

By Lyndsey Kleven

RAA Services currently services more than 650 homes and businesses in Eastern Ohio and is in the process of completing expansion of high-speed Internet access to many locations unserved or underserved by high-speed Internet access. The Columbiana County Airport allowed RAA Services to install equipment on its light tower - the highest point in that area- in exchange for free high-speed Internet access at the airport.

The deal was a win-win for everyone as the airport was previously unserved by high-speed and RAA Service was able to expand high-speed Internet access to area residents, all of which were previously unserved.

“The airport project occurred because a resident called me about getting Internet and I could not serve them at that time,” said Scott Dunn CEO of RAA Services . “I noticed a pole at the airport overlooking the potential customer and approached the Airport Authority to offer them free Internet in exchange for use of its pole. We both saw it as a win-win and signed a deal. I have done several projects like this with farmers using various silos and grain elevators to service surrounding areas.”

The high-speed Internet connection was very important for the Columbiana County Airport. Offering a broadband to the pilots and people flying in allows for checking pre-flight statuses, flight weather, and filing for flight plans, can now all be done through the Internet.

“In today’s aviation environment, it is essential that we have the Internet at our airport for flight planning and to track weather, all of which increase safety,” said Michael DiLoreto, chairman of the Columbiana County Airport Authority.

The airport used to provide one shared computer in its pilots lounge that had a dial-up connection which unreliable and not meeting the needs of pilots. Now with the new wireless connection anyone can walk in and connect. Pilots and passengers can use their own devices to get online, which has tremendously increased efficiency of airport operations.   

Dunn strives on RAA Services being a “last mile” provider, servicing rural areas that are hard to reach. Last fall he constructed a tower in Summitville in order to service 20 customers that previously had no high speed Internet.

“These are the types of projects I like doing, because they seem to help the most people get Internet that could not get it otherwise,” said Dunn. “I have done several projects (similar to the airport project) with farmers, using various silos and grain elevators to service surrounding areas.”

According to Connect Ohio’s 2011 Residential Technology Assessment for Columbiana County, 60% of Columbiana County residents subscribe to home broadband services, which is well below that state average of 71%.

RAA Service’s currently services more than 650 homes and businesses in Eastern Ohio, with coverage in the following areas:

Columbiana County: Lisbon- Center Township, West Point- Madison Township, Gavers, Summitville, Dunganon, New Alexander, West Township, Knox Township, Sebring, Damascus- Butler Township, Salem Township, Highlandtown, Rogers, Northern Unity Township.

Stark County: Southern Washington Township.

Mahoning County: Springfield Township.

Carroll County: Eastern East Township.

To see if RAA Services provides service in your area call (330) 271-9693 or email Scott Dunn at [email protected].

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