Several rural communities to benefit from grants to expand high-speed internet access

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) – Several local rural communities will be recipients of a grant to make broadband services available in many locations across Alabama.

Governor Kay Ivey has awarded more than $26 million in public funds to provide broadband service to numerous communities in nine counties. The nine grants were awarded to broadband providers.

In southwest Alabama, Comcast Cable Communications are receiving $686,298 to provide broadband access to 438 homes, businesses and public institutions in the Alabama Port and Mon Louis communities in Mobile County.

Other grants were awarded to providers in Blount/Etowah, Cherokee, Colbert, DeKalb, Jackson, Lauderdale, St. Clair and Walker counties.

When completed, expanded broadband service will serve nearly 15,000 additional households, businesses and public facilities, including schools and police and fire departments in areas without broadband access. . Broadband providers provide access to broadband service, but households and businesses still have to pay to connect to the service, according to the governor’s office.

The expansion will also provide additional links to make it more feasible to provide future broadband services in these areas.

“Alabama continues to make progress in providing reliable high-speed Internet service for families and businesses throughout Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement. “I extend my thanks to lawmakers who realize the importance and tremendous impact broadband access means for Alabama. I also thank the service providers for their willingness to be part of this mission to change the lives of Alabamians. »

Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, said, “Access to high-speed Internet service can be a world-changer for families in rural areas, especially when it comes to education, health care or running a business.

ADECA administers the Broadband Accessibility Fund grants from public funds appropriated by the Legislative Assembly. Grants are awarded through ADECA’s Digital Expansion Division in Alabama, which was created by legislation signed by Ivey in 2021.

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