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: 

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.

24 responses to “Helping Expand Community WiFi

    1. We’re doing what we can, James! There are significant hurdles to broadband expansion and supporting House Bill 13 takes us a little closer to providing communities what they need.

    2. This will be great for Google Fi users to call and those that don’t have phone service to call using apps… But James youtube wifi DIY boosters you can get wifi in your house from 2 miles away. Would this help you?

    1. Hi Lori. This is a question for your local service provider. In the meantime, we’re doing what we can to expand coverage.

  1. sounds like a good idea to me. Will this be available to rural communities like Strasburg Ohio 44680. And what is approximate cost.

    1. That’s to be determined, Ted! Along with our community partners we recognize the need for this service but they’re still a lot to accomplished to expand the communications network.

    1. Stay tuned, Pat. We know internet connectivity offers critical access and are trying our best to make it happen for more folks in our service territory.

  2. Hear this a million times over the past 15 years, but nothing ever happens for our immediate location. Millions of dollars provided by the feds for expanding any sort of access to electronic means have not resulted in anything but satellite access which is sporadic and subject to weather conditions and the whims of large corporations who could care less about rural customers. So please excuse my speculative comments – I’m from Missouri. The proof is in the pudding.

    1. Bill Pratt, your words are so True! Utitity companies like AEP and ATT have abandoned Perry County, OH. They say its not cost effective, because we are rural. We need reliable Internet service that is Not satellite. Only a few can get internet service, and its no better than 10 mbps download with 1.5 mbps upload, a family cannot work from home or remote school with these slow DSL speeds and Satellite is too expensive and unreliable.

  3. Sounds like another Con Job. Here in Vinton County were lucky to have a phone service that only works half the time. Strive can’t even manage to take care of that. I’ve lived here starting in 1956 to present. And have seen very little change. Tired of all the smoke and mirrors.

    1. Hi Ovid. I think it’s a little early to provide details that specific about expanding connectivity but please stay tuned. We’ll try our best to improve WiFi in our service territory as best we can.

  4. We have been told we will not get internet
    Service on our creek. Said there is not enough houses You can get it through
    Satellite but does not work good at all
    We have tried to get cable on this creek for over 20 years we still get told we will never get it.

  5. We own property in Adams County, Ohio. We have co-op electric. Will HB13 enable them to provide help to their customers? We don’t even get much of a cell signal. It’s badly needed for the permanent residents in that area.

    1. Hi Deb. The legislation is still under consideration by the Ohio Senate and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. I’d recommend getting in touch with your local government representative to share your concerns and to better understand the particulars of how the bill might affect you.

  6. Is there someone I can speak to about this? An AEP fiber line was installed across my property and we need high speed internet. I have called internet provider and they say there is no line there. It’s clearing marked aep fiber

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