The second quarter of 2014 has been filled with an abundance of activity for the Connect Ohio team. Entering the summer of 2014 marked the one-year anniversary of our Digital Works initiative. Digital Works launched in June of 2013 with a single pilot location in Zanesville. It was a huge milestone when Connect Ohio was able to celebrate its 100th job created alongside Ohio legislators in May.
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It was an incredibly active year for Connect Ohio, thanks to your support. 2013 was also a year of change as some Connect Ohio programs reached completion and are evolving into next phases. Connect Ohio continues to work towards reaching the goal of broadband access for all Ohioans and to increase broadband adoption and use. Thank you for your continued support of our effots.
The third quarter of 2013 has been filled with our many statewide programs utilizing broadband connectivity. Taking center stage this month was our quarterly topic on education and technology and the development our newest initiative, Digital Works: Connecting People & Jobs. Digital Works currently has 5 locations currently open and with more to open this year. We are also proud to introduce the Ohio Broadband and Technology Caucus, a statewide expansion of our CABI initiative comprised of a key bipartisan legislative caucus.
The second quarter of 2013 has been filled with a whirlwind of activity for Connect Ohio. The team has been entrenched in our many statewide programs utilizing broadband connectivity on all levels- from developing community engagement through our Connected program, to increasing digital literacy through the Every Citizen Online program, and now the evolution of our newest initiative, Digital Works: Connecting People & Jobs .
During the first quarter 2013, Connect Ohio put the spotlight on teleworking in Ohio and the impact that broadband is providing to Ohio's workforce, including the release of The Impact of Teleworking on Ohio's Workforce and Businesses. This research report examines the increase in Ohio's workforce and businesses transitioning from traditional work environments towards employees working remotely.
It has been an incredible year for Connect Ohio, thanks to your support. The latest Ohio broadband stats show an overall decrease in households with no access to any fixed broadband service of more than 9,000 homes and businesses compared to April 2012. The Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative (CABI) Task Force was instrumental in reducing unserved households specifically in Appalachian Ohio by 20,000 since October 2011.
In cooperation with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, the CABI Fund has been created to elicit contributions to provide training, computers, and discounted Internet service to low-income Appalachian families. Details on the fund will be announced January 2013.
The Every Citizen Online (ECO) program continues to provide necessary free basic computer and Internet training for Ohio adults at more than 250 locations. Connect Ohio has formed new partnerships and maintained our initial partnerships to fuel the success of the ECO program. More than 32,000 adults have participated in ECO training and more than 1,500 new computers have been distributed to ECO partner organizations to equip computer labs and public access locations.
During the third quarter 2012, Connect Ohio put the spotlight on education and the ways that broadband is providing educational opportunities, including the release of Broadband and Education: Enriching Ohio’s Students through Technology. This research report examines the impact digital learning is having on all Ohioans.
Connect Ohio's Every Citizen Online (ECO) program has grown tremendously in the first half of 2012. Our team has bolstered new partnerships with anchor institutions such as Goodwill Industries, YMCA, county Job and Family Service organizations, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Columbus, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and many more.
My 22 years as a telecommunications executive has made me well aware of the existing underserved broadband population. While opening broadband networks in 24 markets nationwide in 2010, many of which were previously unserved, I experienced firsthand the impact of connecting communities, receiving heartfelt appreciation from teachers, students, parents, doctors, firefighters, farmers, governments, and more. I am fully committed to the mission of expanding broadband access and adoption and am proud to pursue that challenge at Connect Ohio.
Ohioans have shown great interest in the Every Citizen Online (ECO) program. Connect Ohio is proud to report nearly 11,500 adults have taken advantage of the free computer and Internet training since the program launch and 763 new computers have been distributed to program sub-recipients.
As the end of 2011 draws near, the first-year benchmark for the Every Citizen Online program approaches. Connect Ohio’s overall project goal is to train 200,000 Ohio adults on the basics of using a computer and the resources available by being connected online.
In February, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) launched the National Broadband Map.
The launch of the National Broadband Map is a milestone that will help broadband service providers make wise investments and identify the areas more clearly where the digital divide exists. It can make a real difference in both economic development and the daily lives of many citizens.
Connect Ohio has the privilege of providing Ohio with a valuable resource – a statewide consumer/residential technology assessment which includes county-specific data for each of the state’s 88 counties.
These assessments examine technology trends of county residents as they compare to the statewide average, such as percentage of residents who have the Internet and/or broadband and barriers to Internet and broadband adoption.
There are many up and coming broadband projects in the State of Ohio to improve broadband infrastructure. One example, Horizon Telecom, will expand existing networks to fill the gaps in broadband infrastructure for around 34 rural counties, including Washington County.
The Ohio Department of Development recently held a small event in Washington County detailing the recently funded broadband infrastructure projects for which groundbreaking will soon begin.