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Ohio weighs opening highway corridors to broadband projects

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A new report finds about 1 million Ohioans, mostly in Appalachia, lack access to high-speed internet service and that the state’s highway corridors may hold the key to addressing the problem.

The report released Wednesday by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration identified a number of causes for that lack of access to include outdated tax codes, missed funding opportunities, flawed maps that incorrectly show where service is available and bureaucratic red tape.

The report found rights of way along limited-access highways could be leveraged to expand broadband. Rising private investment in broadband projects and Ohio’s efforts to develop “smart” transportation corridors requiring robust internet access may provide additional momentum.

DeWine said his administration is committed to making sure broadband is part of the state’s overall infrastructure strategy.

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