Sign Up
Recovery.gov Recovery.gov

What's the Plan?

What is Connecting Appalachia?

Connecting Appalachia (CA) is a partnership between the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce) and Horizon Telcom that will fill broadband coverage gaps in 34 rural Ohio counties with a 1,960-mile fiber optic network. CA is one of three projects in the Ohio Middle Mile Consortium (OMMC). The NTIA received 350 applications for Round 2 infrastructure projects—only 75 were funded. The CA project is the largest award for a for-profit company and the 15th largest award of the 107 infrastructure grants awarded in Round 1 and Round 2.

The other two projects in the OMMC will complete broadband coverage in western and northeast Ohio, thereby securing broadband Internet connectivity across Ohio. The OMMC is facilitated by and will connect to the existing fiber-optic network owned by the Ohio Academic Resources Network, the technology operations arm of the University System of Ohio. Totaling nearly $208 million (including $141 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds), the OMMC project initiative will add nearly 3,660 miles of new fiber-optic cable in almost all of Ohio’s 88 counties.

 

 

When will fiber come to my area?

The first step in the project is to make sure the fiber installation will not harm sensitive environmental or historical areas. That process will take about six months, so construction should begin by early 2011. Construction will go in waves across the area until the entire network is in place when BTOP funding ends in 2013. Watch this website and our e-newsletter for details as they become available.

Click here for a PDF describing the project in detail.


How does the CA project differ from others I've read about in the news?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - the stimulus bill - set aside $7.2 billion of award funds with the goal of closing the connectivity gap in the largest rural and most unserved areas of the country. The $66 million awarded to Horizon Telcom will allow the company to run fiber-optic cable from its main network to anchor points within the 34 counties. CA will partner with local Internet service providers for last-mile installations. If you would like to be considered as a CA local partner, contact lastmile@connectingappalachia.org.


 
ConnectingAppalachia.org - (866) 418 8126 - info@connectingappalachia.org