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Ohio House Passes Bill To Expand Broadband Internet Access

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Nearly 1 million Ohio households lack reliable broadband service, including 300,000 who don’t have any service at all. The Ohio House has passed a bill that would help expand broadband, and it's now up to Senators to pass the plan.

State Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Westerville) says his bill, HB 13, creates a way for broadband providers to tap into $20 million in state grants to subsidize installing service into those areas.

“We’ve got a lot of political will behind us and for the first time, we have now significant funding behind us,” he says.

Carfagna says the Senate needs to act on the bill quickly to be able to tap into those dollars, which are available till next July. The bill was proposed more than a year ago and had widespread favor, but was changed several times before finally getting approval.

Gov. Mike DeWine says his administration supports the bill.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.