Brown announces new investment to expand Internet

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced on Monday a $162.5 million federal investment for high-speed internet infrastructure and community and workforce development projects in Ohio under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund. 

The funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury will support two efforts to expand Internet access in Ohio: $77.5 million for rural broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 15,000 homes and businesses; and $85 million for multi-purpose community facilities, which will bring connectivity to Ohio communities for years to come.

The American Rescue Plan was passed by Congressional Democrats and signed into law by President Joe Biden in January 2021.

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“Every Ohio family and Ohio business should have reliable, high-speed internet,” Brown said in a news release. “You shouldn’t have to live in a big city or a wealthy suburb to have access to a crucial aspect of modern society and our economy. It’s why when we wrote the American Rescue Plan, we made sure that it not only included investment in high speed internet, but that the investment would be focused on places like Ohio, where large portions of the state have been left out.”

Ohio is approved to receive $77.5 million for high-speed internet infrastructure projects, which will go toward the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program, a competitive broadband grant program designed to fund last-mile broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas currently lacking access to reliable, high-speed internet.

Ohio will invest an additional $85 million of CPF funding in Ohio’s Appalachian Community Innovation Campuses Program, a competitive grant program that provides funding to eligible counties within the Appalachian region to construct multi-purpose facilities designed to increase access to education, community health services, and workforce development opportunities.

In June, Brown announced a massive investment to expand high-speed Internet access. Ohio received nearly $794 million to bring high-speed Internet to 183,000 Ohio households.