Broadband access is lacking in large portions of east central Ohio

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A new broadband study has found that 38 percent of households in a 10-county area of east central Ohio — including Tuscarawas County — do not have access to FCC minimum internet speeds. While the need for reliable, affordable high-speed broadband for students, workers and businesses has existed for years, the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation worse as the shutdown shifted learning and work online. However, steps are being taken to address that need. For instance, Uhrichsville (OH)-based Smart Way Communications is working to expand the area it serves. Over the past year, the company has built wireless internet towers in Mineral City, Sherrodsville and Bowerston (OH), working in cooperation with Sandy Township (OH) trustees and the Conotton Valley (OH) school district. "Thanks to the board of education and Smart Way, I think we're providing some opportunities for our students and future opportunities soon for the community that they didn't have before," Conotton Valley Superintendent Todd Herman said.

Broadband access lacking in large portions of east central Ohio