Gov. Ivey Awards Grant to Provide Broadband Services in Coosa County
MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Friday announced a $200,000 grant to assist the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative in providing high-speed internet services to a section of Coosa County.
The funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable the electric cooperative to provide broadband access to nearly 70 households and at least one business in the Richville community.
“Today, high-speed internet is a critical element to ensuring a high quality of life,” Gov. Ivey said. “When we work to grow our economy, improve our education system and provide better health care, we must make expanding broadband access part of the equation. I am grateful to the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative for recognizing the impact broadband will have on the Coosa County residents.”
The project is the first phase in the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s larger plan to provide a 365-mile-wide fiber optic ring, connecting its 24 electric substations and six offices along with nearby residences and businesses. The CAEC service area includes rural parts of Autauga, Chilton, Coosa and Elmore counties, as well as some sections of six adjoining counties.
“This investment will be a tremendous help as we deploy fiber optic cable throughout Coosa County,” CAEC president and CEO Tom Stackhouse said. “We are grateful to ARC, Governor Ivey and the staff of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for their involvement in allowing grant dollars to be awarded. This project will be a game-changer for people who live in rural Alabama.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama.
“Governor Ivey is committed to ensuring that Alabama’s rural communities are not left behind as technology advances,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is proud to join with Governor Ivey, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative and ARC in this endeavor.”
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Coosa County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.
ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.