One state’s plan to bring better internet to schools and homes

By Bridget McCrea
July 21st, 2015

Ohio’s OneCommunity brings broadband to schools and private homes

ohio-equitySince 2003, OneCommunity of Cleveland has been connecting and enabling public benefit organizations across the state like schools, government agencies, healthcare, museums, and libraries with next-generation fiber optics. And lately, they’re begun working with schools to identify private homes that lack sufficient bandwidth.

Lev Gonick, chief executive, said OneCommunity was born out of the need to elevate Northeastern Ohio’s “Rust Belt” status by infusing the region with faster and more accessible Internet. “Northeast Ohio was looking for a roadmap to reinvent itself,” said Gonick, who at the time was vice president and chief information officer at Case Western Reserve University, one of OneCommunity’s founding partners.

“Community leaders embraced the idea that whatever our future might be,” he adds, “fiber optics would [provide] a very important underlying and enabling infrastructure to get us there.”

To date, the organization has built about 2,500 route miles of its own fiber that currently connect 800 different institutions to the internet, and to one another, at ultra-high broadband speeds.

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