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Monroe Local Schools recently partnered with the Ohio Department of Development, BroadbandOhio, Butler County Educational Service Center, Butler Tech, Ohio Connectivity Champions, SWOCA and altafiber to launch the “Connect Our Students” initiative which includes a $95,000 grant to bring free high-speed internet to more than 70 K-12 students living in the Rochester Hills community.

BroadbandOhio, a division of the Department of Development, awarded the grant as part of its goal to bring digital infrastructure to communities that have limited opportunities due to little or no access to internet.

“This will have a tremendous impact on the lives of these students and their families,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “You cannot be part of the modern economy, education or healthcare system without access to high-speed internet. Everything from connecting with teachers on a virtual call to downloading homework was previously a challenge for these students. This is going to change that.”

Infrastructure for the project is provided by altafiber, with BroadbandOhio providing connectivity to the homes for a period of five years. Butler Tech, Monroe Local Schools and SWOCA provided technical assistance and served as integral partners in the planning and implementation of the project.

“altafiber is committed to creating digital equity throughout the communities that we serve, and we are proud to be part of this important initiative that will deliver critical connectivity for Monroe Local School District students and their families,” shared Jason Praeter, President, Consumer & Small Business for altafiber.

“The pandemic heightened awareness for everyone that high-speed internet is a necessity to access curriculum in today's world,” said Jon Graft, Butler Tech superintendent/CEO. “It has become what our textbook used to be for students in the past. Our hope is that this pilot shows the viability for high-speed, reliable internet services to be accessible to everyone across the county and eventually everywhere throughout the United States. Partnership is what made it possible.”