Cuyahoga County, Ohio, rolls out $20 million plan to connect thousands of residents to broadband

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Up to 25,000 households in Cuyahoga County suburbs may be getting high-speed internet, under a plan announced April 22 by County Executive Armond Budish. Budish will introduce legislation to Cuyahoga County Council to use $20 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to connect some of the county’s least-connected residents. The service would come through a contract with local non-profit PCs for People. “Access to the internet and a home computer has become an essential tool in today’s world,” PCs for People Chief Innovation Officer Bryan Mauk said. “Without it, these residents are cut off from employment opportunities, education, healthcare, social connection, and so much more.” Residents who are eligible for the federal Affordable Connectivity Program subsidy would not have to pay for the internet service. Those who do not qualify for the federal program would be charged $15 per month. The county press release did not say what locations would receive high-speed internet, but described it as an area “across 77 census tracts where more than 20 percent of the population is unconnected and the average income is below the County’s Area Median Income.” Of the 25,000 households, up to 20,000 of them -- located in low-income suburbs -- would receive wireless internet. The remaining 5,000 or so households, in apartment buildings or housing authority complexes, would receive wired connections.

Cuyahoga County rolls out $20 million plan to connect thousands of residents to broadband: Stimulus Watch