YELLOW SPRINGS — Yellow Springs is going into the broadband business by starting its own Internet service.
The village manager said this will be a way to connect neighborhoods and businesses.
Yellow Springs is known for being environmentally friendly and culturally diverse. Now, you can also add innovative to the list.
Village Manager Josue Salmeron said, “We are starting our own municipal broadband service.”
Salmeron said a $300,000 grant has secured the pilot program that will initially offer an Internet connection to 17 percent of the village. He said the pandemic made Internet availability and accessibility a top priority.
“We felt we needed to do this from a business perspective and a human rights perspective,” Salmeron said. “There’s a problem when our folks couldn’t do the essential things. They couldn’t go to work online. They couldn’t go to school online, and they couldn’t visit their doctors online. That’s a problem we were trying to solve. That’s why we went down this path.”
Yellow Springs already creates and provides its own electric service. Salmeron said the new broadband will also be offered as a utility. He continued by saying everyone will have a choice to op-in or opt-out. But said the goal is to make it faster and more affordable and accessible than other current providers.
Dino Pallotta, who owns Dino’s Cappuccinos, said, “When the Wi-Fi goes down, it cripples us.”
He said everything from the register to the music in his shop runs on the Internet. He continued by saying he sees the benefits of the village’s municipal broadband service.
“For businesses, it’s a huge savings that you don’t have to carry certain providers. Now, you can just count of the village to provide service,” Pallotta said.
Salmeron said connecting the entire village will be expensive, but said he’s looking at options now and working to secure more state and federal funding.
The Broadband Internet could be up and running by the end of November.
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