XENIA — Greene County Commissioners Thursday signed an agreement with Cincinnati Bell to offer high-speed internet to underserved parts of the county.
The county will use $9.6 million in funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act while Cincinnati Bell will invest $55 million toward the project, which will offer reliable internet to nearly 40,000 addresses in the county, mostly in the eastern parts of the county including Xenia, Cedarville and Jamestown. Bellbrook, Beavercreek, and Fairborn will also receive the company’s “Fiber to the Premise” network.
Construction of the network will commence this year, with anticipated completion during 2025.
“Greene County is thrilled to partner with Cincinnati Bell for this transformative project,” Commissioner Dick Gould said in a release. “Bringing reliable Internet service to all unserved and underserved areas of the county has long been a priority for Greene County. With the once-in-a-lifetime funds we received through the American Rescue Plan Act, we chose to invest in technology that will ‘future proof’ our county for years to come. The added value that Cincinnati Bell is bringing with this expansion will position all parts of our county to thrive in the digital age. Through this partnership, Greene County will be one of the most wired counties in the state, if not the nation.”
As part of the agreement, Cincinnati Bell’s Smart City organization – UniCity – will help design, construct, and install the infrastructure to support public Wi-Fi in designated parts of Greene County. Public Wi-Fi is critical to create economic development opportunities for businesses that leverage these networks to reach customers in new ways, and to support applications that enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors, the release said.
The new partnership with Greene County furthers the company’s goal to find creative solutions toward providing high-quality fiber connections to all, particularly with respect to those who are underserved. Cincinnati Bell officials said access to reliable high-speed internet is essential for residents and businesses to address work-from-home, virtual learning, and telehealth activities.
“Internet connectivity is mission-critical to access jobs, educational opportunities, and health-care resources,” said Tom Simpson, chief operating officer of Cincinnati Bell. “We are excited about this partnership with Greene County, and appreciate the county’s support of digital equity and equal access to high-speed broadband Internet.”