Zanesville- Ohio is moving at a rapid pace when it comes to internet speed and the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA) are working to strengthen that connection through their Broadband Feasibility Study. Only 71 percent of the populated area and 21 percent of all households do not have sufficient broadband speeds or access in Muskingum County, according to Kennedy Blakely, the Communications Manager with OMEGA.
More than 75% of Guernsey County's geography including 40% of homes do not have access to broadband service that meets minimum standards, according a study conducted by Reid Consulting Group in Athens. That was the news delivered to Guernsey County commissioners Wednesday during a zoom meeting with Tom Reid and Sean O'Malley of Reid Consulting Group and officials from the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association.
The U.S. legislature is considering historic investments in broadband expansion, following a year and a half of a pandemic that revealed how important broadband access is for education, work and social connection. But while funding is a big part of closing the digital divide, broadband advocates say that funding needs to come with accountability and transparency, and to be targeted to the areas that need it the most.