Friday July 25, 2014
Bart Winegar, technical outreach manager of Connect Ohio, has been selected as Connect Ohio’s newest Broadband Hero awardee and was recognized by Connect Ohio at the state quarterly Technology Association Meeting July 25 in Columbus. Winegar was selected to receive this award for his efforts in helping to foster high-speed broadband expansion to unserved and underserved homes and business across Ohio during his tenure at Connect Ohio; he will depart from the organization later this month to pursue other opportunities.
Winegar, a native of Coshocton, saw the need for Internet access in rural areas and has spent the majority of his life in telecom. His 30-year career in information technology and telecommunications includes serving as president of STI Communications; an Ohio based CLEC. He also served as vice president of SOTA Technologies, Inc. with a company primarily focused on network engineering, VoIP, and ISP services. He also previously served as president of AEGIS Consulting, LLC assisting small businesses with leveraging information technology.
Helping to drive Connect Ohio’s mission from its inception, Winegar started as a state operations manager to develop a strategy that enhanced the supply of available technology/broadband and direct community-by-community broadband planning and implementation. From this position Winegar became technical outreach manager where he worked to develop professional relationships with key stakeholders in Ohio to identify and develop availability and capacity programs, primarily for last-mile applications.
The result of these efforts has been seen in Ohio’s last-mile broadband challenged areas receiving significant opportunities for improvement over the past several years, especially in the Appalachian region.
Winegar was instrumental in developing the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative with the goal of improving access by utilizing the successful local-level efforts of Connect Ohio’s last-mile technical assistance team by broadening projects to a regional level. 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.
Connect Ohio thanks Winegar for championing broadband use across the state and his assistance in helping numerous residents receive broadband access.