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Holes in broadband service leave voids in daily life

Roxanne Turner, who lives about 200 yards from her DSL, or digital subscriber line, encounters major disruption to the internet for work and daily life at her home in Worth Township on Jan. 27. Justin Guido/Butler Eagle
Rural Dilemma

Part-time wedding photographer Margie Mackrell needs hours to upload wedding photos at her Muddy Creek Township home, an assignment that, by contrast, takes only a half-hour from her brother’s Gibsonia home.

Before upgrading to the mobile hot spot plan she now uses, each assignment took a week, she said.

She’s been asking for better internet access for 24 years, she said.

Help finally could be on the way — if only her need is recognized by state and federal authorities charged with the management of at least $100 million in federal aid for broadband expansion projects in unserved and underserved areas.

In late 2022, the Federal Communications Commission announced a national broadband map. The map allows users to navigate to any address within the country and see the availability of fixed and mobile broadband.

That map largely indicates 80% to 100% accessibility to fixed broadband and 100% accessibility to mobile broadband across Butler County — which just isn’t the case according to three townships that recently made pleas to the county for broadband-related funding.

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