Gov. Kay Ivey, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt and other state and community leaders joined with representatives of telecommunications giant Spectrum on Nov. 21 to celebrate construction on a fiber-optic network that will ultimately bring gigabit broadband and other services to more than 6,500 homes and small businesses in Walker County.
“My administration has prioritized expanding access to reliable high-speed internet service for families and businesses throughout Alabama,” Ivey said at the Old Harbin Hotel in Nauvoo. “Today, we celebrate breaking ground on Spectrum’s public-private partnership with the state to advance broadband connectivity in rural Walker County.”
Aderholt added, “For many years we have been working to close the digital divide across the state and country, and this expansion by Spectrum is a big step toward doing so. Many of my constituents here in Alabama’s Fourth District feel the strain every day of not having access to high-speed, reliable broadband, and I am excited to see great progress like this.”
The network buildout is partially attributed to a $4.95 million grant by the Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs (ADECA) that has been awarded to Spectrum to connect more than 2,100 unserved locations.
“I am thrilled that Spectrum received an ADECA grant to expand its services to Nauvoo and other unserved parts of Walker County,” said State Rep. Matt Woods of Jasper said. “It opens the door for new business opportunities and for residents to be more connected and to work and learn from home.”
The ADECA grant is being paired with ongoing rural expansion through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), which paves the way for Spectrum to provide fiber connectivity to the unserved locations in Walker County. The company’s total RDOF expansion will provide broadband access to approximately 1 million customer locations, as estimated by the FCC, across 24 states in the coming years.
“Broadband is a vital resource for work, learning and personal connection,” said Spectrum’s Area Vice President Tony Sieiro. “Leveraging resources won in the ADECA grant process and RDOF auction, we’re building a high-speed, high-capacity network that will bring gigabit internet to thousands of homes and small businesses in Walker County; an investment that will ensure families and businesses can participate fully in the digital world, now and well into the future.”
Spectrum serves more than 652,000 customers across 238 communities in Alabama.
“The state of Alabama has made historic strides toward expanding internet access to all Alabamians, regardless of ZIP code,” said State Sen. Greg Reed said. “We’ve seen unprecedented investments and public-private partnerships, just like with Spectrum here in Walker County, that are resulting in efficient and expeditious deployment of high-speed internet access to our most rural pockets of the state.”
Spectrum offers a suite of advanced communications services, including television, wireless and internet offered by Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), which serves more than 32 million residential and business customers in 41 states. The company distributes news and sports programming to customers through Spectrum Networks. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)
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