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Roundtable looks to better internet access to Mahoning, Trumbull counties

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Boardman, August 7, 2017 | comments
Community leaders in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties are looking to bring better high-speed internet access to the area.
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Published on August 7, 2017
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Community leaders in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties are looking to bring better high-speed internet access to the area. 

Congressman Bill Johnson hosted a roundtable discussion Monday morning about the need bring better internet to the Valley, particularly to rural and urban areas. 

The results of a connectivity report were widely discussed, with leaders and more than a dozen internet providers hoping to find solutions. 

During the meeting, the results of the local study were discussed, with many arguing that the Valley's children and small businesses need better internet availability. 

The report, issued earlier by Connect Ohio says that Youngstown-Mahoning County scored just 60.03 points out of 100 overall in broadband and technology readiness. 

The study says that the worst areas in the Valley for internet access are Newton, Weathersfield, Poland, Jackson, Mesopotamia, Farmington, Greene, Gustavus, Kinsman, Johnston, and Hubbard Townships. 

The study also reports that there are more than 68,000 homes without broadband internet access, and of those with access nearly a third of households say they aren't happy with their current broadband provider. 

"Access to broadband has become a vital tool in community and economic development," John Moliterno, Executive Director of the Western Reserve Port Authority said. "As we prepare for future economies we need to include broadband as an integral part of the local infrastructure."

Monday's discussion worked with broadband providers and, private companies, and non-profit organizations to find solutions such as expanding the cable infrastructure, and making broadband more cost accessible to lower income families. 

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