As broadband access becomes increasingly important for every day life and business throughout the world, the state of Alabama is keeping in step by providing some of the state’s most underserved and under connected areas with reliable high speed internet.
To promote the progress being made, Governor Kay Ivey is currently on what her office has dubbed the ‘Broadband Tour’.
“As I’ve said many times, our mission to give all Alabamians the ability to access high-speed internet is a journey, not a short trip,” Ivey said at her first stop in Walker County.
“I’m proud to say that we’re making great progress across the state, providing more Alabamians with the infrastructural resources required when it comes to 21st century success in education, health care, business and the normalcies of everyday life. Expanding our digital infrastructure remains a critical priority for the Ivey Administration.”
Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed called increased statewide broadband capabilities “imperative.”
“Through programs we funded in the Alabama Legislature, our state has been able to complete multiple broadband projects in Walker County, with many more currently underway,” Reed said. “Our unconnected residents need high-speed internet access, and it is imperative that the state of Alabama continues to support projects that give Alabamians the opportunities created by bridging the digital divide.”
“I’ve been proud to support efforts to expand high-speed internet access in the Alabama Senate, and I look forward to continuing working to give Alabamians the access they need.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is awarding the funding for the projects.
“I’m proud of the efforts we have made at ADECA to support critical broadband projects across the state like the ones happening here in Walker County. None of these would be possible without the leadership of Governor Kay Ivey and the support of our Legislature,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.
“They recognize this critical need and have worked to address it. We still have more to accomplish, but with continued support, Alabama will reach its goal to get all of our citizens connected.”
Some of the topics discussed at the Walker County event included the $12 million in grant and matching funds committed for broadband projects. Another subject discussed was the success of the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund.
So far, the new broadband capabilities in the Walker County area has connected 2,200 residents who are currently unserved.
Alabama has invested approximately $82 million in state dollars through grant awards supporting more than 100 projects through the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund since 2018. Once completed the projects will give broadband access to to more than 72,000 Alabama households, businesses and community institutions.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.