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Broadband Heros

Lee Imhof

Friday October 26, 2012

Lee Imhof, of Geauga County, has been selected as Connect Ohio’s newest Broadband Hero awardee. Imhof was recognized by Connect Ohio Executive Director Stu Johnson at the state quarterly Technology Association Meeting Friday, October 26, in Columbus, for the efforts of his company investing in a high-speed Internet expansion project throughout the county.


Imhof is the president at Troy Chemical, located in Burton, Ohio, whose only option for Internet was a costly TI fiber-optic connection that is slower than broadband. The limited bandwith did not allow the company to run multiple business phone lines or use the Internet to make calls or do Cloud computing.   


“In this area, we have people who have problems selling their homes because they don’t have high quality Internet service. I have neighbors who are still on dial-up,” Imhof said.


Imhof and five other local business owners have formed a public/private partnership with CUE Band, a startup wireless provider. The business owners have opted to pay upfront for a high-speed connection for three years, in order to provide the initial capital needed to begin the expansion efforts. In addition to prepaying for service, Troy Chemical donated the land for the communication tower.


“One of the reasons Troy Chemical donated the land for the communication tower was to facilitate broadband access to this area,” said Imhof. “Today’s world runs on the Internet. Thanks to CUE Band, the new broadband service is brining great value to our community, current businesses, and future businesses.”


With expansion underway, CUE Band recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion and honor all parties involved in making it possible. Currently, more than 650 homes and businesses now have access; 400 of these locations previously had no access to Internet service. CUE Band is still signing up customers for Internet service and is continuing to expand.


“The CUE Band business model is working well and the ribbon cutting ceremony represented the best example of how our public-private partnership works,” said David Weddell, CEO of CUE Band. “We have created a support mechanism that is bringing jobs to the local economy and can be duplicated across the state of Ohio.”


Connect Ohio thanks Mr. Lee Imhof for championing broadband expansion in his community. Not only did he aid multiple businesses in the community, but he also helped additional residents receive broadband access.