During the COVID-19 pandemic, connectivity to the internet has meant people can work from home, go to school from home and attend telehealth appointments. But people now also use the internet to pay bills online, access basic services and entertainment, and keep in touch with friends and family.
“Access to affordable and consistent internet has a direct impact on quality of life,” Henry said. “High-speed internet is essential for education, business innovation, and healthcare. "
Henry said respondents to their proposal have been asked to provide Greene County with firm numbers, including data about residents who may not have any access to broadband.
“This information will be crucial in helping us determine our next steps and how we can best use our resources to provide Greene County residents with cheaper, better internet,” he said.
Some cities and villages within Greene County have already begun working on expanding their broadband access.
Xenia City Manager Brent Merrimack said his city approached major internet companies about additional build-out in Xenia, but the companies indicated they aren’t interested.
Yellow Springs is also working to expand broadband access to its residents. Village manager Josué Salmerón said the village received $300,000 from Broadband Ohio, a state grant, and is currently getting equipment and fiber installation bids.
“We hope to connect 300 homes by November,” Salmerón said.