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Ivey awards $24.7M in broadband grants

More Alabama communities are about to gain access to high-speed internet.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced today nearly $25 million in grants will be awarded to expand broadband services throughout Alabama.

The nine grants, totaling $24.72 million, were awarded to broadband providers across the state to support projects in unserved or underserved areas of Alabama, Ivey’s office said in a news release. The completed projects will enable nearly 20,000 households, businesses and community anchors to have access to high-speed internet.

“Broadband continues to be a top priority of my administration, and as we continue to move into these next four years, we’re taking our broadband journey with us,” Ivey said. “The projects underway reach across the state and will allow better access to opportunities in education, health care, business and other normalcies of life. Broadband is vital infrastructure, and our map continues to light up.

“I am pleased to support these transformative projects as we work toward achieving high-speed internet availability for every Alabamian.”

Households and businesses must subscribe to paid service to receive broadband. Broadband providers only supply the access, but households and businesses must still pay for connecting to the service. The expansion will also provide additional links to make it more feasible to supply future broadband service within those areas.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) administers Broadband Accessibility Fund grants from state government funds allocated by the Legislature. Funds are issued through ADECA’s Alabama Digital Expansion Division, which was created by legislation signed by Ivey in 2021 to focus on broadband expansion in Alabama.

Including today, the Broadband Accessibility Fund has provided grants totaling $88.6 million to support 109 projects across Alabama since the its start in 2018.

“ADECA is honored to be administering this program that will improve the lives of so many Alabamians,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “It is our goal to carry out our duties with this program efficiently and effectively and in the best manner conceivable so that we reach as many Alabamians as possible.”

Grants awarded and affected areas are:

  • Cullman, Morgan and Winston counties: Cullman Electric Cooperative – $4.58 million to provide broadband access for 1,356 households, businesses and community anchors in parts of Cullman, Morgan, and Winston counties.
  • Winston County: Spectrum Southeast – $351,119 to provide broadband services for 715 households, businesses and anchors in the vicinity of Double Springs and Lynn.
  • Tuscaloosa County: Spectrum Southeast – $2.45 million to provide broadband service access for 2,204 households, businesses and community anchors in the vicinity of Coaling, Vance and Woodstock.
  • Bibb County: Spectrum Southeast – $1.02 million to provide broadband accessibility for up to 2,482 households, businesses and anchors in the vicinities of Brent, Centreville, Vance, West Blocton and Woodstock.
  • Shelby County: Spectrum Southeast – $2.92 million to provide broadband service in the areas of Calera, Columbiana, Montevallo, Westover and Wilsonville with the potential to affect 4,412 households, businesses and community anchors.
  • Baldwin and Escambia counties: Mediacom- $4.05 million to provide broadband service connectivity for 1,756 households, businesses and community anchors in northwest Baldwin County and southwest Escambia County between Bay Minette and Atmore.
  • Baldwin County: Mediacom – $2.91 million to provide internet access affecting 1,895 households, businesses and community anchors in an area near the city of Robertsdale.
  • Mobile County: Mediacom- $3.11 million to provide access for 2,824 households, businesses and community anchors near the communities of Grand Bay and Wilmer; and $3.31 million to provide broadband service availability for 1,715 households, businesses and community anchors near Mount Vernon.

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