Greenville is Ohio’s 17th worst connected midsized or large city, with 39% of its 5,800 households lacking wireline broadband connections, according to recent American Community Survey data.
To our surprise (and a lot of other people’s), Ohio’s 133rd General Assembly never did get around to passing House Bill 13, the “Ohio broadband bill”, during its December lame duck sessions. So that bill is dead, and it’s back to square one for proponents of rural broadband subsidies and a state broadband office in Ohio state government.
It’s likely that the new General Assembly will take up the now-popular topic of the state’s “broadband gap” pretty quickly. When they do, here’s a new CYC factsheet they should take very seriously:
It shows fifty of Ohio’s midsized and large cities — defined as having 5,000 or more households –along with the numbers and percentage of those households lacking cable, DSL or fiber optic Internet service at any speed, according to the U.S. Census’ most recent American Community Survey. Read more
Spectrum cable and AT&T fiber share a pole in Cleveland, where 47% of households have neither.
Ohio’s lame-duck General Assembly will soon give final approval to Amended House Bill 13, their long-awaited $50 million rural broadband bill. And the FCC has just announced $170 million in winning bids for Ohio broadband investments through its “Rural Development Opportunity Fund”. All $220 million is earmarked to build new high-speed Internet infrastructure for unserved rural areas of the state.
But newly released data from the U.S. Census shows that Ohio’s broadband divide (defined as the lack of fast home Internet service needed for school, work, healthcare, personal finances, family and community connections) is a serious issue for urban as well as rural communities.
In fact, most of the state’s households who lack good high-speed Internet connections are in “urban Ohio”, not “rural Ohio”.
In 2019, Cleveland had the highest percentage of households without broadband Internet accounts of any U.S. city with 100,000 or more households, according to data released this morning by the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey (ACS). Almost 53,000 Cleveland households — 31% of the city’s total — lacked broadband subscriptions of any kind at any speed last year, including mobile data plans.
The new ACS data also shows that nearly 79,000 Cleveland households lacked “wireline” broadband connections in 2019 — i.e. cable modem, DSL or fiber Internet service. Cleveland’s 46% wireline non-connection rate was second only to Detroit among the nation’s big cities.
Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis and Newark all ranked among 2019’s five worst-connected big cities in both categories. Clink on the graphic below to see the whole list.