MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine has signed legislation creating a grant program to help expand broadband access in underserved and rural areas of Ohio.
The Republican signed the measure Monday at an elementary school in Middletown.
It provides $20 million for grants this year.
Lawmakers are considering providing additional funding.
Supporters say the pandemic has highlighted how high-speed internet access is a necessity these days.
State officials say an estimated 300,000 Ohio households and more than 1 million residents lack high-speed internet.
The grants would fund the so-called "last mile" parts of broadband projects that providers might otherwise consider unjustifiable from a business perspective.