Governor tells council to make Ohio a broadband leader

Goal is to expand broadband access, boost the state’s economy and create savings

Columbus, Ohio – December 4, 2007 – Governor Ted Strickland today directed the Ohio Broadband Council to oversee statewide efforts to expand broadband networking, as the council met for the first time since its creation earlier this summer.

“I created the Ohio Broadband Council to establish Ohio as a world-class competitor by making Ohio the national leader in broadband access,” said Governor Strickland. “I have directed the council to help develop the jobs of the future by leveraging the state’s investment in broadband infrastructure, and to create cost savings through the coordination of Ohio’s public broadband resources.”

The governor’s executive order (2007-24S) instructed the council to:

  • Direct a unified, statewide broadband development effort
  • Develop the phased implementation of Broadband Ohio
  • Develop a strategic plan for statewide broadband deployment, determining the resources necessary for its implementation
  • Coordinate all broadband activities that receive state-appropriated funds and pursue new federal and private-sector investments in broadband
  • Establish policies and promote new public and private broadband networking investments
  • Develop a strategic plan to achieve digital inclusion

R. Steve Edmonson, chief information officer for the State of Ohio, and Stanley C. Ahalt, executive director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center, co-chair the council, while Katrina B. Flory serves as the council’s executive director. The council includes members from local, state and federal agencies and elected offices, the telecommunications industry, trade unions, business and the general public.

The executive order also created the Broadband Ohio Network by pairing higher education’s OSCnet (formerly the Third Frontier Network) with the Next Generation Network (NextGen Network), a new state and local government network being developed by acquiring available bandwidth from OSCnet.

The NextGen Network, managed by the Office of Information Technology, is consolidating and improving broadband service delivery to state and local government, underserved populations, city, county and regional network rings, economic development, public safety, courts and public/private initiatives. The Ohio Supercomputer Center manages OSCnet, which continues to provide connectivity and computing resources to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, academic medical centers, public broadcasting stations and local, state and federal research centers.

The Broadband Ohio Network does not provide retail broadband access, but instead improves the business case for telecommunications firms to further expand services to unserved and underserved areas.

Contacts:

Jamie Abel
Media Relations Manager
Ohio Supercomputer Center
614-292-6495
jabel@osc.edu

ron.sylvester@das.state.oh.us