High-speed internet is essential for connecting people to online education, increasing telehealth opportunities and applying for high-paying jobs, Husted said. As of Monday, 200,849 vacancies were posted on the Ohio Means Jobs website, 114,094 of which pay $50,000 a year or more, Husted added. Ohio has an unemployment rate of 3.9%, a record high, and there are only 35,000 unemployed people in Ohio.
“There are at least three jobs that pay $50,000 a year or more for each person. We’re creating jobs in Ohio faster than we can find people to fill them,” Husted said. “(If) you don’t have access to high-speed, Wi-Fi, high-speed internet, you can’t participate in the modern economy, the healthcare system or the education system.”
Earlier this year, BroadbandOhio awarded $232 million in grants to 11 internet service providers across the state to make affordable high-speed internet available to nearly 100,000 homes that currently don’t have access to it, a said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. This includes both underserved urban communities and those in rural areas.
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