State of Ohio Budget Passes After Eliminating Muni Broadband Ban

Conference committee advances budget that removes language banning municipal broadband and restoring $250 million in state rural broadband funding.

  • FairlawnGig


Fairlawn, Ohio--After a grass roots campaign that included more than 500 individual emails from FairlawnGig customers, nearly twenty city proclamations and letters from mayors, and vast industry support, the Ohio State Budget passed both the house and the senate without language that prohibited municipal broadband.

“We’d like to thank everyone in Fairlawn and Summit County for their support in rallying together to tell elected officials in Columbus how important municipal broadband is to them,” says Ernie Staten, Director of Public Service for Fairlawn. “Municipalities only enter the broadband space when forced to by the inaction of the private sector. The competition and service we bring is the key difference for many communities to compete and thrive in the 21st century economy.”

The last-minute proposed ban on municipal broadband was met with significant opposition as it was happening post-pandemic, when internet service was revealed to be more important than ever before, and at the same that Federal broadband investment is a big part of the announced bipartisan infrastructure bill that will include bipartisan legislation by Senator Rob Portman (R, Ohio).

“We’re thrilled that communities like Fairlawn and Hudson can keep serving their communities,” says Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. “Our ability to work with private providers and established public partners like these communities is crucial to our plans to provide high speed broadband that connects all 31 of our communities and supports public safety, education, economic development, remote work and a host of high tech needs within our communities. The ability to use federal infrastructure dollars in this way can be a true game changer for the future of our County.”


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