Almost exactly in the middle when compared with other states, Ohio ranks 24th on the broadband access scale. While the southeast portion of Ohio lags behind in terms of high-speed coverage, the rest of the state, particularly the northeast and southwest corners, experiences good broadband coverage. User speed test data reveals that Ohioans’ average download is 102.1 Mbps, which is comparable to average speeds in Hawaii, Arkansas, and West Virginia.
The Digital Divide in Ohio
A comparison of the numbers between Ohioans who have access to high-speed, affordable wired internet and those who do not will help us quantify the digital divide, that is, the gap existing between those with and without access to the latest internet technologies.
At this time, there are 269 internet providers operating in the state of Ohio. However, 217,000 people in Ohio do not have access to even one of these providers where they live, and another 898,000 people only have access to one provider, making it impossible for them to switch, should the need arise. Additionally, while 94.0% of Ohioans have access to wired broadband with speeds of 25 Mbps or faster, 618,000 people in Ohio remain without access to a wired connection capable of the same speeds.
Affordability data shows that 47.7% of Ohio’s residents currently have access to a low-priced internet plan. To qualify as “low-priced,” an internet plan must cost $60 or less on a monthly basis. Ohio’s percentage is lower than the national average of 51.5% of Americans with accessibility to the same.
Out of all the cities in Ohio, there are some that are significantly better connected than others. The cities with the best internet when it comes to speed, coverage, and pricing are Cincinnati, Hamilton, Columbus, Akron, and Dayton, with Cincinnati topping the list as the most well-connected city in the state.
On the other hand, the Ohio cities with the worst internet are Stafford, Summitville, Alledonia, Cameron, and Middle Bass, with Stafford bottoming out as the city with the poorest internet in the state. No residents in any of these towns have access to wired broadband internet.
Since 2010, federal grants worth over $7 million have been allocated toward broadband data mapping and development in Ohio through the Ohio Office of Information Technology. Another $141,300,142 in federal grant funding has fueled the expansion of broadband infrastructure through various programs within the state.
Additionally, current legislation recently issued an Ohio Broadband Strategy which “serves as a comprehensive plan for aggressively expanding and enhancing the state’s broadband network.”
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.