Ohio’s new budget could kill municipal broadband services, critics say

Public officials in Summit County and elsewhere in the state fear that language in Ohio’s proposed $75 billion budget could put municipal broadband internet services such as FairlawnGig out of business.

The provision also threatens Hudson, Wadsworth and more than 30 other municipal broadband providers in Ohio, critics say. In Summit County, the language endangers planned upgrades to public safety services, improved school and library services, plus business and economic development tools that local officials say they are discussing.

The language, inserted without prior public discussion during recent state Senate deliberations on Ohio’s two-year budget, is drawing condemnation from numerous sources. Officials have not said who put the language in the Senate budget document, only that they learned of it for the first time last week.

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