Good Connectivity News for Ohioans

posted 5/21/21 -- Remote learning, online meetings and Zoom reunions have become normal to many households in the past year and a half. But what if you can’t afford Internet service? Or if good connections aren’t available in your area?

Two programs – one federal and one state – are working to improve access and provide financial assistance to those who qualify.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program originally provided financial assistance to maintain home phones. As technology changed, the program evolved to include cellular phones and Internet service.

Residents living at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Line may qualify for help paying for Internet service. Providers are not required to participate, however, so residents need to check availability in their area. Other ways to qualify include receiving SNAP (food stamps) benefits or having a child who qualifies for free or reduced price school lunches.

Learn more and find providers by clicking here

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that provides $20 million in grant funding to Internet providers who work to expand their infrastructure to underserved parts of Ohio.

“Right now, nearly 1 million Ohioans living in 300,000 households currently have no high-speed internet options at all, according to DeWine’s administration, making it difficult to watch streaming video, work or learn remotely, or hold telehealth appointments,” Cleveland.com reported.

Read the full story here.

Read the bill here.