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Ohio Telecom Inks Broadband Deal in Ashtabula County

The Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners has approved a contract with Ohio Transparent Telecom to provide broadband to as many as 8,000 residents in the New Lyme, Cherry Valley and Richmond townships.

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(TNS) — The Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with Ohio Transparent Telecom to provide broadband to between 6,000 and 8,000 county residents at a meeting on Tuesday.

The contract will have OTT provide fixed wireless broadband service in New Lyme, Cherry Valley and Richmond Townships, according to a press release from the commissioners.

"This should help us get broadband services to a lot of rural parts of the county that have no such access currently, or limited access," Commissioner J.P. Ducro said at the meeting.

This is a pilot project, which can be expanded in the future after receiving community feedback, according to the press release.

"This is a big step, and hopefully it will be successful, and lead to further developments that can improve broadband accessibility for our county residents," Ducro said. "The most exciting thing for me about this is that for people that really have financial restraints, there's the opportunity for this to be free for them."

Ducro said in the press release he hopes initial service will be available in spring, 2023.

OTT was the only qualified company to respond to a request for proposals from the county for broadband services.

The project will utilize existing towers in New Lyme and Cherry Valley, and construct a new micro-tower in Richmond Township, according to the press release.

The estimated cost of the project is $636,000, according to the press release.

OTT offers three tiers of service, ranging in price from $79 to $29, with some households eligible for a $30 discount, according to the press release.

"We can provide access to broadband, but if it's not affordable, it's not really helping," Commissioner Casey Kozlowski said in the release.

Community education sessions will take place on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. in New Lyme Township, prior to the 7 p.m. trustees meeting, at the 7:30 p.m. Cherry Valley trustees meeting, and at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 prior to the Richmond Township trustees meeting, according to the press release.

"This is an opportunity made possible from the ARPA funds we were awarded," Commissioner Kathryn Whittington said in the release. "We saw it as a great way to put some of those funds to use to help our community."

©2022 the Star Beacon, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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