New internet service coming to Coshocton County

| January 13, 2022

By the end of 2024, a new wireless internet service will be available in Coshocton County.

According to County Commissioner Gary Fischer, in 2009, the board of commissioners recognized there was a lack of broadband in the county and developed the first public/private partnership with the state to use existing vertical infrastructure to deploy a wireless broadband network that more than 700 customers are still using.

“COVID emphasized the need for more broadband with people working from home and remote learning for our schools,” Fischer said. “The county received 7.1 million dollars in ARP (American Rescue Plan) money and elected to attack this existing issue with five million dollars of those funds.”

“We worked for six months with experts in the broadband field and a law firm in Columbus that specializes in this technology to develop a RFP (request for proposals) to go out for bids. We wanted to place the towers in our county to not only bring broadband to remote areas but to encourage cell phone carriers to co-locate on these towers and improve cell service.”

Fischer said Ohio TT was selected because they have the best time line with a two year completion date, 70% profit sharing back to the customers and technology at great speeds at a very affordable price.  Their prices are $79 per month for up to 100 Mbps, $49 per month for up to 50 Mbps, and $29 per month with a minimum of 25 Mbps.

The plan is to construct four 300’ towers in the four corners of the county, seven 150’ towers and use 10 existing 300’ towers for 21 total towers across the county.  “Census surveys indicate 20,503 underserved residents in our county and Phase 1 (to be completed in two years) targets 15,021 residents in that census block. We added an option of Phase 2 to the RFP with an additional one million ARP funds to look at the dark areas after two years and address the remaining problem locations,” Fischer said.

He added that the commissioners plan is to get internet to as many residents as possible. “It is wireless, operating similar to cell phone service so, to be honest, because of terrain, some locations will be difficult, if not impossible.”

“Broadband is a critical investment in the future of Coshocton County. We have so many people working from home and if we have available broadband service, we can retain those people and attract people to our county. Economists estimate the average consumer benefits of broadband to be between $1,500-$2,200 per year.  When comparing these estimates to Coshocton County population, this equates potentially to $22-33 million in economic benefits from this project. The Board of Commissioners feels this is the best use of federal dollars to make a change that will impact of residents’ way of life.”

You can call Ohio TT at 1-833-464-4688 or check the Coshocton County website or Facebook page for more information.

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