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"Ohio airport swaps use of light tower space for free high-speed access"

Monday, April 1, 2013

County airport swaps use of light tower space for free high-speed access
The Salem (OH) News 

MADISON TOWNSHIP -The Columbiana County Airport recently allowed RAA
Services to install equipment on its light tower in exchange for free
high-speed Internet access at the airport.

This means area residents will able to access high-speed Internet service
through RAA, according to a news release issued by Connect Ohio, a
state-federally funded organization working to bring broadband service to
rural Ohio.

"The airport project occurred because a resident called me about getting
Internet and I could not serve them at that time," Scott Dunn, CEO of RAA
Services, said in a news release. "I noticed a pole at the airport
overlooking the potential customer and approached the Airport Authority to
offer them free Internet in exchange for use of its pole. We both saw it as
a win-win and signed a deal. I have done several projects like this with
farmers using various silos and grain elevators to service surrounding
Offering a broadband connection allows pilots to check their pre-flight
status, flight weather and file flight plans. Previously the airport only
had access to a dial-up connection that was unreliable and limited to one
computer station at the airport.

"In today's aviation environment, it is essential that we have the Internet
at our airport for flight planning and to track weather, all of which
increase safety," said Michael DiLoreto, Airport Authority chairman.

According to Connect Ohio, 60 percent of Columbiana County residents
subscribe to home broadband services, which is well below that state average
of 71 percent.

RAA Service's currently services more than 650 homes and businesses in
Eastern Ohio, with coverage in portions of the following areas: Lisbon,
Center Township, West Point, Madison Township, Gavers, Summitville,
Dungannon, New Alexander, West Township, Knox Township, Damascus, Butler
Township, Salem Township, Highlandtown, Rogers and northern Unity Township.

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