GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Commissions this week announced the upcoming expansion of broadband service to Gallia County.
According to a news release from the commissioners, representatives of Charter Communications recently met with county leaders to announce plans to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband to approximately 112,000 unserved Ohio homes and small businesses, including more than 5,500 in Gallia County, as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“As part of this effort, Charter, which has a suite of broadband services under the Spectrum name, will invest more than $556 million in Ohio, which includes $106 million of grant funding from the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity (RDOF) auction. Gallia County will see a total investment of over $24 million in broadband expansion connecting an estimated 5,560 Gallia County homes and small businesses,” stated the news release.
“The Gallia County Commission is excited with news of broadband expansion into the unserved areas of the County”, said Harold Montgomery, president, Gallia County Commission “This will be a great step in beginning to provide high speed internet service to over 5,000 homes and businesses in Gallia County.”
The remainder of the news release, as submitted on behalf of the county commissioners, appears below:
Currently, Spectrum provides broadband service in Rio Grande, Centerville, and parts of Raccoon Township. As part of the $24 million expansion, portions of all 15 townships in the county will benefit from this project. In the presentation to county officials, the company said the primary focus is to connect homes and small businesses in lower-density, mostly rural communities that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps. The new initiative is in addition to Charter’s existing network expansion plans and builds upon the company’s track record of expanding broadband access to unserved and underserved locations.
The FCC has estimated that over the next several years, Charter will reach an additional 80,000 homes and small businesses providing gigabit connections from Spectrum Internet across 28 underserved Appalachian counties in Ohio, including 5,560 in Gallia County.
Charter Communications representatives indicated the network Charter will build in these rural areas will offer 1 Gbps high-speed broadband access to all newly served customer locations, with starting speeds of 200 Mbps, enabling consumers to engage in remote learning, work, telemedicine, and other applications that require high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity.
Preparation for the RDOF Phase I broadband buildout has already begun, with the official kick-off scheduled for 2022. Charter has established an online resource at SpectrumRuralExpansion.com, where consumers can learn more about the RDOF buildout. In the months ahead, the site will help determine whether specific residential or business locations will be part of the RDOF buildout. Prospective customers may also request email or text message updates from Spectrum as the buildout progresses and more specific information becomes available. As buildouts near completion, Charter will then contact customers to provide details of available Spectrum services and the timing of activation.