Southern Ohio Communication Services plans $3.8M investment
WAVERLY, Ohio — Southern Ohio Communication Services Inc., in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and Pike County Economic & Community Development, announced in a news release plans to invest $3.8 million to provide one-gig optical fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) high-speed Internet service over 64 miles to 1,300 residential and business customers in southern Ohio.
Company officials said in the release the investment represents the first phase of a two-phase approach to providing expanded optical fiber-to-home high-speed internet service within its rural footprint in Pike and Scioto counties.
“In the second phase of the project, Southern Ohio Communication Services will make an additional investment that will result in optical fiber-to-home high-speed Internet service to residents and businesses in Southern Ohio,” the release said. “The current project will result in the creation of at least five new jobs and construction of a new warehouse to store equipment.”
A last-mile Internet service provider offers the network connections that link end users to the wider Internet. The last mile refers to the final leg of the telecommunications networks that delivery services to customers. FTTH offers gigabit-speeds that are considerably faster than a typical cable modem or DSL connection.
“The proven economic benefits provided by Fiber to the premises include increased property values,” said Gary Cooper, president of Southern Ohio Communications, “by attracting businesses and people to locate and reside in the area.”
Southern Ohio Communications Service received a $50,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant toward building and engineering costs, according to the release.
“Along with JobsOhio, we commend and are supportive of this investment by Southern Ohio Communication Services, Inc. to expand high-speed internet access to a broader area of southern Ohio,” said Mike Jacoby, President of OhioSE. “This investment is a step forward in improving internet connectivity in southern Ohio that will give folks the ability to work remotely and improve the quality of life in our region.”
Applications open for West Virginia fellowship program
CHARLESTON — Applications opened last week for the fifth year of Generation West Virginia’s Impact Fellowship program, offering 19 positions with 10 host employers across the state in 2021.
According to Generation West Virginia, nearly 100 organizations have participated as host employers or benefited from fellows’ volunteer hours since the program launched in 2017.
“This program builds career pathways for young people. 80% of Fellows have stayed in the state following the conclusion of the program, and 87% of Fellows have received offers to stay with their Host Employers at the conclusion of the fellowship year,” Natalie Roper, executive director of Generation West Virginia, said in a news release.
Host companies participating in year five of the Impact Fellowship are McKinley Architecture & Engineering, 84 Agency, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Pendleton Community Bank, TC Energy, Alpha Technologies, West Virginia Community Development Hub, Farms Work Wonders, Philanthropy WV and Bravo Consulting Group.
During the course of the Fellowship year, Impact Fellows work four days a week with their host employer and spend each Friday volunteering at local nonprofits.
“In addition to the value they bring to their employers, Impact Fellows are enriching and becoming invested in their communities,” Amy Fauber, impact fellowship director, said in the release. “By the end of the program’s fourth year, Impact Fellows will have donated 10,920 community service hours, expanding the capacity of local nonprofits to create meaningful change across the state.”
Recruitment and placement for the fellowship are occurring virtually. The recruitment period for the fifth cohort of Fellows runs Jan. 19 through Feb. 28. Prospective applicants can learn more and must apply by Feb. 28 at WeImpactWV.org.