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:
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.