Recent News // Release: Ribbon Cutting Event Celebrates Midway Construction Point of Internet Deployment for Meigs County
Ribbon Cutting Event Celebrates Midway Construction Point of Internet Deployment for Meigs County
New Era’s Completed Expansion Project Extends Broadband Access to Thousands of Unserved and Underserved Ohioans
POMEROY – A ribbon-cutting event Wednesday marked the midway point of New Era Broadband’s high-speed expansion project to the many unserved and underserved homes and businesses in Meigs County. Local dignitaries, representatives from New Era Broadband, and Connect Ohio representatives were in attendance to celebrate the completion of 13 towers that can deploy broadband to 1,500 residences and businesses.
“New Era Broadband strives to offer another Internet option to rural customers across Meigs County, and now into Athens County,” said Wendy Hannum, customer service manager for New Era Broadband. “From a personal perspective, New Era understands that rural Internet needs were not being met across our corner of Appalachia. For individuals wishing to take part in homeschooling, online college course work, families wanting to view streaming video or use video chat, to online gaming, New Era Broadband has seen the rapid change in online needs and has stepped up to meet those challenges with exciting speed capability that many other regions are already enjoying.”
The New Era Broadband service deployment will eventually reach an estimated 3,300 residences and will help to bridge an existing digital divide for Meigs County residents. Currently, more than 1,500 homes and businesses in the area do not have access to high-speed Internet (speeds of 3 Mbps) and this digital divide impacts education, economic development, and public safety.
“If New Era wasn't available in my area, I would be out of a job or commuting over 4 hours a day in drive time only,” said Adam Roush, New Era Broadband customer. “Working from home saves me money, the State of Ohio money because they don't have to have permanent place for me to do my work, and I get to spend a lot more time with my family.”
The first half of the project has now extended Internet access to approximately1,500 residences and community organizations (read about how New Era service saved volunteer firefighters’ jobs). Expansion build out began in November 2011 after New Era Broadband was awarded a combination of $2.9 million in grants and loans from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service to provide wireless broadband Internet service to areas of Meigs County that were unserved or underserved.
“As New Era Broadband continues to grow, Meigs County can continue to grow,” said Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio. “The expansion is a tremendous asset to these hard-to-reach last mile areas, previously unserved by Internet, that need it most. If we want to promote economic development throughout Ohio, we need to ensure that all areas have equal broadband access. New Era Broadband will provide broadband access for Meigs County —promoting economic growth and improving the competitiveness of southeast Ohio.”
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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.