Eastgate Hosts Ohio Lt. Gov. Husted for presentation on Broadband Feasibility Study

Jun 28, 2021

Thursday, June 24, 2021, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments presented points from the Broadband Feasibility Study to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in order to garner support from the state government for the project.

The presentation focused on the benefits to the populations that would be served by the fiber expansion, including rural areas of Ashtabula, Trumbull and Mahoning Counties currently receiving no coverage, as well as areas that do have coverage but are hindered by high costs.

"The idea of a broadband backbone will fill in the gaps in the underserved areas, while providing high speed internet to the entire region," says Eastgate Executive Director Jim Kinnick.

The main benefits outlined to Husted are:

  • Digital Equity and Inclusion
  • Economic Growth and Prosperity
  • Public Safety
  • Government Services

Echoing Kinnick’s remarks, Eastgate’s Broadband Coordinator Steve Kristan explains, “It’s not that they don’t have connections today, but it may be slow or expensive,” addressing how the expansion can help those in areas that already have broadband coverage.

The proposed fiber expansion is planned to span the three counties, with potential for fiber to run through Columbiana County as well, connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River. The project is estimated to cost between $12 million and $15 million, depending on whether Columbiana is included.

The study, which can be found here, was prepared by Ice Miller Whiteboard and ms consultants.