The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the challenges many face with reliable access to WiFi across Appalachian Ohio. Internet connectivity offers access to necessities like education, health care and work opportunities. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) to address this challenge and help add new public WiFi access points in communities across Appalachian Ohio.
The following organizations received funding to support the installation of community WiFi access points, to meet the 2020-2021 school year needs:
- Bridgeport Exempted Village School District
- Cambridge City Schools
- Fort Frye Local School District
- Greenfield Exempted Village School District
- Guernsey County Community Development Corporation
- Historical Society of Mt. Pleasant
- Holmes County District Public Library
- Portsmouth Public Library
- Ridgewood Local Schools
- Rural Action
- SPICE (Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs)
- Vinton County Local Schools
The new access points work much like home WiFi, but extend coverage to provide connections to a larger outside area — providing more Appalachian Ohioans critical connectivity. We’re proud to be a part of the Appalachian Ohio community and will continue to fulfill our commitment to providing communities with what they need to power their day.
AEP Ohio Supporting House Bill 13
AEP Ohio is supporting legislation, Ohio House Bill 13, currently under consideration by the Ohio Senate and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, that would allow electric companies like us to help expand broadband access across the state.
We’re in the process of expanding our use of technologies that make the grid smarter and more efficient. In order for this equipment to work, we’re also building a high-speed communications network so we can get the most for our customers from these upgrades. HB 13 would allow us to make that communications network available for local internet providers that are expanding service to customers currently without broadband.
In many areas of the state, the kind of network we are building, also known as the “middle-mile,” doesn’t exist and would require significant investment from internet providers to build. By making our middle-mile available to providers, we would be able to remove a significant hurdle to broadband expansion.