Recent News // Release: Connect Ohio, Governor’s Office of Appalachia Announce CABI Fund – Key Funding Vessel for Connecting Low-Income Appalachian Households
Technology Association Meeting Included Update on Ohio’s Middle Mile Broadband Projects, 2012 Ohio Residential Technology Data
COLUMBUS – On Friday, January 25, Chesapeake Energy, Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative (CABI) Task Force members, Connect Ohio, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia announced the creation of the CABI Fund. The fund, administered through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and established through an initial investment from Chesapeake Energy, provides individuals, corporations, and foundations a convenient platform to participate in the cause to help Appalachian Ohio households get connected. This key financial vessel will provide a computer, technology training, and discounted Internet service to low-income Appalachian Ohio households in need. View the CABI Fund profile page.
“Beyond the compelling moral component of the fund to assist those in need with training, computers, and discounted Internet service, the financial cost of digital exclusion is growing and unnecessarily hinders employment, education, government services, healthcare, public safety, and economic development,” said Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio. “While there are many exciting national programs and pilots underway to address this need, CABI members are cautious of when these will reach outlying areas of Appalachian Ohio and how burdensome they may be to administer. Consequently, the CABI Fund was created to establish a convenient mechanism to gather resources and ensure efficient, timely, and targeted delivery of services for maximum impact.”
“Access to high-speed Internet service is a vital component of Appalachian Ohio’s health and prosperity,” said Cara Dingus Brook, president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. ”As new opportunities arise in job-growing fields and business, dependable Internet connectivity will determine our region’s ability to grow and compete in the twenty-first century. The establishment of the CABI Fund at the Foundation is an exciting step toward increasing Appalachian Ohio’s success for many years to come.”
“When looking to better yourself in areas like employment and education, access to high-speed Internet service is imperative,” said Keith Fuller, Senior Director of Government Affairs for Chesapeake Energy. “We partnered with Connect Ohio and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia because it was a chance to fill a need for so many people in our area of operation. The establishment of the CABI Fund is a crucial step toward connecting Appalachian Ohio residents with important resources and a bright future.”
Connect Ohio’s quarterly state Technology Association Meeting was held at the Vern Riffe Center in Columbus with 80 stakeholders, broadband providers, technology companies, and library and community representatives in attendance, including attendees throughout the nation via webcast.
Key findings from Connect Ohio’s 2012 Residential Technology Assessment were presented to meeting attendees, including:
- In 2012, 71% of adult Ohioans reported they had a home broadband subscription, an increase of five percentage points from 2010 and 2011 when the broadband adoption rate was 66%.
- Just over 2.6 million Ohioans do not have home broadband service.
- Almost half (45%) of adult Ohioans are mobile broadband users (they access the Internet via cell phone or subscribe to a mobile wireless service via laptop).
- Broadband adoption among “Rural Appalachian” Ohio residents has stagnated since 2011: the 2012 broadband adoption rate is 53%, while the 2011 rate was 55%.
- Less than half of low-income households in Ohio (46%) have a home broadband subscription, while 31% are mobile users.
- Nearly one fifth (17%) of employed or self-employed Ohioans are teleworkers (they work from home using an Internet connection, instead of commuting to their usual workplace).
The meeting also included an update from many broadband providers expanding middle mile access throughout the state, including progress updates from Com Net, Inc., Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Horizon, OARnet, and OneCommunity. Hear the progress reports by watching the recorded webcast. Connected Nation GIS Analyst Jess Cary presented attendees with an overview of Connect Ohio’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) work and recent upgrades made to Connect Ohio’s interactive mapping tool My ConnectView, available online for public use.
At the meeting, Elder High School’s tech reach was recognized as Connect Ohio’s Every Citizen Online All-Star Facility awardee for its dedication and engagement to the program, helping Ohio adults receive free basic computer and Internet training.