Gov. Ivey awards broadband grants for 7 projects in Alabama

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday announced she has awarded $2.9 million in grants to continue providing more Alabamians with access to high-speed internet services.

The governor awarded the grants to providers to extend broadband services in seven Alabama communities. With the latest funding, Gov. Ivey has awarded about $18.5 million this year to expand high-speed internet access in mainly unserved rural areas.

“The COVID-19 pandemic further emphasized how essential broadband services are to the unserved and underserved residents of Alabama,” Governor Ivey said. “Thanks to the Broadband Accessibility Fund and broadband providers, we are making progress in ensuring that Alabamians have access to high-speed internet services, but there is no question we have a long way to go on completing this mission.”

The grants were awarded through the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund, which was created by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ivey. It was created to assist broadband providers in extending high-speed internet service for households, businesses and community anchors in unserved areas of the state or in areas lacking minimum threshold service. A community anchor is an establishment like a police or fire department, city hall, library, school or medical facility.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the program.

“Having access to high-speed internet can make a huge difference in the lives of Alabamians in terms of doing business, obtaining an education and improving the overall quality of life,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to be a part of this process that will change lives for the better.”

Grants awarded and coverage areas are: 

Butler County

Hayneville Fiber Transport Inc. (Camellia Communications) – $128,797 to provide service availability to 48 households and four community anchors in the Sherling Lake community which is northwest of the city of Greenville.

Choctaw County/Washington County

Millry Telephone Co. Inc. – $954,902 to extend broadband service in the third phase of a project covering south Choctaw and north Washington counties. The project includes 559 households, 16 businesses and two anchors including Millry City Hall and Millry School.  

Cleburne County

Gigafy – $178,782 to provide access availability to 486 households and 38 businesses in the vicinity of the city of Heflin. 

Cullman County

Cyber Broadband Inc. – $1.33 million to provide service availability to 1,600 households, 125 businesses and 50 community anchors in the vicinity of the Baileytown and Joppa communities in eastern Cullman County. 

Dallas County

Spectrum Southeast – $55,481 to extend broadband service availability to 55 households in the Deerfield subdivision west of the city of Selma. 

Lee County

Spectrum Southeast – $8,407 to provide high-speed cable access to eight households along Lee County Road 279 near the Halawaka community. 

Tallapoosa County

Spectrum Southeast -$245,567 to extend service availability to 316 households in the Marina Marin area of Lake Martin near Alabama Highway 50.

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

The department is also conducting a Broadband SpeedSurvey to help identify gaps in broadband coverage for the state’s planning efforts. Alabamians can report their internet speed or lack of internet by taking the survey at https://alabama.speedsurvey.org. Those unable to complete the survey online may also call (334) 353-4589 to complete it by phone.

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