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Trumbull County, Ohio, Commissioners Approve Broadband Study

Elected officials in the northeast Ohio county are directing the planning commission to pursue funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to study the feasibility of countywide broadband.

(TNS) — Trumbull County commissioners have authorized the planning commission to apply to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for funding to conduct a countywide broadband feasibility study.

Planner Shane Burkholder with the planning commission said the grant would be paired with funding from Trumbull County cities and townships interested in improving internet service in their area.

The planning commission will hire a consultant to conduct the study and determine what technology and infrastructure exists now and write a plan for a new public broadband network.

The study would be used to determine how to finance and build infrastructure and how to govern it. For example, one way it could be governed would be through a consortium of cities and townships.

“It’s a necessary first step for discussing it and implementing a program,” Burkholder said. This step would not pay for the engineering or building of the network, he said.

Right now, there is not a lot of fiber optic cable in downtown Warren, for example, he said. Most users are on standard copper cable.

By comparison, in places such as Hudson, Ohio, high- speed internet becomes like a public utility and brings the cost of high speed internet down to a reasonable cost.

©2019 Vindicator (Youngstown, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.