WARREN – City officials, the Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority, the Trumbull Community Action Program and the Oak Hill Collaborative of Youngstown are launching an initiative to eliminate the “Numeric fraction” and bring more broadband access to Trumbull County residents.
In a recent survey, the city of Warren ranked as the fifth least connected city in Ohio in terms of public with internet access.
An event to help launch the initiative to bring more internet access will take place on Tuesday at 4.30pm at TCAP, 1230 Palmyra Road SE.
“The goal of this initiative is to transform the City of Warren and Trumbull County from one of the least connected to one of the most connected in Ohio,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.
Free computer classes and workshops, deeply discounted refurbished computers, and assistance with enrollment in low-cost Internet programs will be offered at this facility and at various locations throughout the county.
“We’ve had great success with this model and are excited to work with great partners in Warren County and Trumbull,” Pat Kerrigan, executive director of the Oak Hill Collaborative, said.
Kerrigan recently submitted a petition to Trumbull County Commissioners requesting $95,000 in funding from the county’s U.S. bailout for the connectivity initiative.
Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa agreed the move will have significant implications for the county’s economic development, and both he and Commissioner Niki Frenchko said the county council would act on the request as soon as they get the go-ahead from the government. American County Bailout Lawyer of Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Matthews in North Canton.
the lawyer “must tell us what fund category we can use it in and give us the language of the agenda”, said Frenchko.
The Oak Hill Collaborative is a 501(c3) nonprofit organization and Kerrigan said he wants ARP funding to expand his “Digital Advantage Initiative” in Trumbull County.
In the ARP application submitted to the Trumbull Commissioners Office, Kerrigan explained the Mahoning County initiative involving qualified needy households already receiving health care or specialist benefits, a supplemental nutritional assistance program (food stamps ) or social security payments as well as families receiving free or reduced school meals. These qualified households are entitled to a $30 reduction on their monthly Internet connection bill.
Kerrigan estimates that about 2,500 Trumbull County households or about 6,000 people per year qualify for the monthly rebate as well as education and other computer aids.
The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Greenboard IT, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and some county churches are also participating in the initiative, Kerrigan said.
Kerrigan hopes that TCAP in Warren can become the initiative’s permanent base of operations in Trumbull County.
Giving reasons why the project should be eligible for county ARP funding, Kerrigan responded: “This project is eligible for several reasons. First, improving Internet access – which requires adequate broadband connectivity, affordable Internet service, improved computer knowledge and skills, and more economical computer hardware – is an important factor in combating the economic impact negative due to the pandemic (COVID-19), especially for young and old. low-income residents.
Cantalamessa said the Oak Hill initiative will complement recent successes in the broadband expansion that would stretch along State Route 11 from Ashtabula to Columbiana County. The project – called the Lake-to-River Fiber Broadband Corridor – recently received $500,000 from the state to help bridge the digital divide in rural and urban areas across the region by improving mid-mile infrastructure and broadband capabilities. last mile broadband.
“Fast internet access is no longer seen as a luxury but as an essential utility for things like economic development, better healthcare services, educational opportunities and quality of life,” said Cantalamessa.