PRESS RELEASE: BroadbandOhio and OVRDC Helping Communities Develop Broadband Access Solutions

BroadbandOhio and OVRDC Aim to Help Communities Develop Broadband Access Solutions


Waverly, Ohio The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) is named one of four teams to participate in the BroadbandOhio Community Accelerator Cohort, a community broadband planning program which educates and supports leadership teams as they create their community’s broadband vision and goal to pursue the best possible broadband solutions for their area.

Under the direction of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) and in conjunction with the OSU Extension Office and the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, BroadbandOhio has convened a group of four teams from communities across Ohio to participate in an educational, capacity-building program. The goal of the program is to provide support to community champions and drive engagement on solutions to finally eliminate the digital divide in southern Ohio.

A recent broadband study by OVRDC and Reid Consulting Group revealed 26% of households and 69% of populated areas in the twelve-county Ohio Valley region do not have access to FCC minimum internet speeds of 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. Detailed county broadband profiles are hosted online and available for public download.

In conjunction with the Ohio State University Extension Office and others, team participants will develop community-specific plans for broadband expansion and lay the groundwork for progress through education and empowering communities in developing successful project applications to available funding sources.

Team members from eight counties in southern Ohio will convene online for fifteen weeks with the goal to build capacity for the region.

Team members include:

Godwin Apaliyah, OSU Extension, and Economic Development Director, Fayette County

Sarah Beath, County Administrator, Brown County Commissioners

Gina Collinsworth, Public Information Coordinator, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission

Terri Fetherolf, Economic Development Director, Vinton County

Holly Johnson, Economic Development Director, Adams County

Mike Meadows, Fayette County Information Systems/Information Technology Manager

Malcolm Miller, Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District

David Painter, Clermont County Commissioner

Scottie Powell, Scioto County Commissioner

Brian Rice, VP Technology & Infrastructure, Southern State Community College

Michael Rutherford, Business Program Director, USDA Rural Development

Anthony Tindall, USDA Rural Development

Corey Watson, Director of Technology, Lawrence County Commissioners

“This is a great opportunity for OVRDC to utilize the broadband work that has been completed for our region by Reid Consulting Group and identify areas to focus our ongoing efforts,” said John Hemmings, Executive Director of OVRDC.

“Access to broadband is the great equalizer for economic development and educational opportunities. For too long Southern Ohio has had an access problem that has held the region back from our full potential. I applaud the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Director of Development for providing the additional funding to close these gaps in service and to level the playing field for our citizens,” said Scottie Powell, Scioto County Commissioner

People who are interested in learning more or participating in community broadband efforts can contact Gina Collinsworth, OVRDC Public Information Coordinator, for more information email and call (740) 947-2853.


Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) is a regional planning commission and Local Development District (LDD) dedicated to the development of Southern Ohio, providing multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development, administrative, professional, and technical assistance to local governments, nonprofits, communities, and citizens in a twelve-county region. More information at

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