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DeWine signs bill on grant program to help expand broadband

Posted at 8:03 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 20:03:44-04

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.