Columbus area cities should not invest in costly broadband

Shaun Tucker is the former executive director of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

As people increasingly rely on the internet to access tools for remote learning, professional services and telehealth, policymakers across the nation have assessed ways to get unconnected Americans online.

Here in Franklin County however, some leaders in cities like Columbus and Dublin have mistakenly set their focus on constructing duplicative broadband infrastructure, rather than focusing on the true, adoption-related factors driving the digital divide.

Both of these cities are well-covered and have access to multiple networks offering fast speeds. In Columbus, the Federal Communications Commission estimates that 99.98% of the area has access to high-speed internet that is far faster than the definition for broadband speeds, and in Dublin, it is 99.95%.

More:What is the state of broadband access in rural Ohio?

Additionally, both cities have competitive internet service provider markets. Dublin has eight broadband providers covering at least 70% of the area, while Columbus has six broadband providers covering at least 80% of the area.

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