Buckeye Hills Regional Council
What do agriculture and broadband have in common? To Carly Fitz, both are intimately connected to rural Ohio and her upbringing in Perry County, where she’ll be an American Connection Corps fellow with the Buckeye Hills Regional Council (BHRC). Carly has grown up fighting for issues facing rural communities like her own, explaining, “I did 4-H, FFA, and a ton of agriculture advocacy through high school and college. Agriculture, like broadband connectivity, is a huge issue in rural communities.”
With the BHRC, Carly will assist the community in strategizing for broadband and fiber expansion and installation by building relationships with broadband providers, creating maps of existing broadband infrastructure, and locating funding programs for installation of new infrastructure. She is particularly looking forward to networking with like-minded people who share her passion for community service, and expanding her knowledge of “the hard skills regarding implementation and what that entails in order to bring opportunities to my community.” Carly’s commitment to expanding broadband and digital connectivity is deeply personal.
“Especially in the southern part of Perry County,” she says, “there’s hardly any cell service or internet access so I feel that if we were able to give these individuals the opportunity to have the access, we can increase economic and job opportunities, and the benefits would be tenfold after having the accessibility.”