Eastgate Awarded $1.45M to Install Downtown Broadband Network

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments has been awarded a $1.45 million federal grant to install a broadband internet network in downtown Youngstown.

The agency will facilitate the installation of 10 miles of fiber optic cable that will serve 212 business sites and create 119 jobs. The project is part of the Smart2 Network effort.

“Securing the $1.45 million in Appalachian Regional Commission Power Grant funding will allow for the installation of fiber conduit for high speed internet along the downtown business district corridors and extend to Youngstown State University and Mercy Health,” said Jim Kinnick, executive director of Eastgate, in a statement. “The entire project will enhance the economic revitalization efforts within the city of Youngstown and lay the groundwork for a brighter future in the Mahoning Valley,”

The grant is part of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization initiative, which directs federal resources to communities that have been affected by changing economics of energy production.

Brite Energy Innovators also received funds from the program, and was awarded $49,450 for its Energy Storage Road Map. The project will identify and analyze energy storage assets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, creating a framework that can be used to enhance the growing energy cluster in the region.

“The burgeoning energy storage cluster expands beyond northeast Ohio and Brite is thrilled to work closely with universities including Carnegie Mellon University and West Virginia University to leverage the innovation occurring across Appalachia,” said Sara Daugherty, director of operations and economic impact at Brite. “Energy storage is of central importance for our nation’s security and resiliency and Brite seeks to work with partners across Appalachia to pilot new technologies.”

Also receiving funding was Appalachian Growth Capital in Nelsonville, Ohio, to expand access to capital and technical assistance for small businesses in the state’s Appalachian region.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.