Recent News // Release: Representatives from Senator Brown’s Office, AEP Ohio & TechGROWTH Ohio Join Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2012
Representatives from Senator Brown’s Office, AEP Ohio & TechGROWTH Ohio
Join Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative
Task Force Presented with Two Broadband Expansion Projects to Potentially Connect Thousands of Households
Media Contact: Amanda Murphy
Carrollton, Ohio — Connect Ohio is pleased to announce the addition of three committee members to the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative Task Force: Jeanne Wilson, senior Appalachian regional representative with the Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Paul D. Prater, community affairs manager for AEP Ohio and West Virginia, and John Glazer, director of TechGROWTH Ohio.
“Broadband expansion is critical to economic development throughout Ohio,” Brown said. "We’ve already seen how collaborative efforts—like Ohio Middle Mile Consortium—help promote economic growth and improve the competitiveness of Ohio communities in underserved areas. The Connect Appalachia Broadband Task Force will build on these investments and support growth throughout Appalachian Ohio.”
“Internet connectivity is essential for rural areas to thrive whether it be education, business, health, or a myriad of other applications,” said Prater. “The Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative will improve the lives of rural Ohioans and AEP Ohio is proud to be part of this effort.”
“I am hopeful TechGROWTH can play a role in solving the problem of the last mile,” said Glazer. “It is the kind of issue that pulls all sectors together.”
“I want to welcome Jeanne, Paul and John to the Task Force,” said Jason Wilson, Director of Governor’s Office on Appalachia. “I appreciate their willingness to serve and the perspective they bring to the initiative.”
The task force met Thursday, February 16, in Carrollton where they were presented with broadband expansion project plans from two providers, CUE Band, LLC and New Era Broadband Services. These potential projects could connect more than 2,500 households in Carroll County and at least 4,000 households in Washington County. The projects would also create direct employment opportunities with the providers, though these companies are in need of assistance in order to move forward. Task force committee members will collaborate with area stakeholders in an effort to find solutions to allow the expansion projects to be completed.
The failure to connect has significant implications on the Appalachia region’s ability to keep up with the demands of the digital economy. According to Connect Ohio’s Technology Barriers and Adoption in Rural Appalachian Ohio report:
o 531,000 adults in rural Appalachia do not have home broadband – 124,000 report that service is either unavailable, or the speeds are insufficient in meeting their needs
o One in three children in rural Appalachian Ohio do not have broadband service at home
o One out of three households do not have a home computer in the Appalachian region
The next task force meeting will be held March 15, 2012.
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About Connect Ohio: Connect Ohio, a division of Connected Nation, is a leading technology organization committed to bringing affordable high-speed Internet and broadband-enabled resources to all Ohioans. Connect Ohio effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and works to improve technology access, adoption, and use through its programs. Connect Ohio is a nonprofit, technology-neutral public-private partnership. For more information about what Connect Ohio is doing to accelerate technology in Ohio's communities, visit http://www.connectohio.org. Follow Connect Ohio on Facebook and Twitter.
About Governor’s Office of Appalachia: As an advocate for Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties, the Governor’s Office of Appalachia works on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C. to promote the region’s assets and to support local, regional, state, and federal initiatives. These initiatives contribute to the economic, educational, and community prosperity of the people of Ohio’s Appalachian region.
About Chesapeake Energy: Chesapeake is the second-largest producer of natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. Chesapeake owns leading positions in the Barnett, Haynesville, Bossier, Marcellus and Pearsall natural gas shale plays and in the Granite Wash, Cleveland, Tonkawa, Mississippi Lime, Bone Spring, Avalon, Wolfcamp, Wolfberry, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Three Forks/Bakken and Utica unconventional liquids plays. The company has also vertically integrated its operations and owns substantial midstream, compression, drilling, trucking, pressure pumping and other oilfield service assets.