$1M in grants for high-speed internet headed to rural communities

Gov. Ivey awarded more than $1.14 million in broadband accessibility grants.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law a bill that will raise the state's fuel taxes by 10...
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law a bill that will raise the state's fuel taxes by 10 cents over the next three years.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Jul. 15, 2019 at 11:57 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Several rural communities throughout Alabama will soon have access to high-speed internet.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Monday that she has awarded more than $1.14 million in grants under the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund.

“Access to high-speed internet in our rural areas will open the way to improved educational opportunities, economic development projects and better health-care services," Ivey said. “I am very proud to award these grants to expand access to affordable high-speed internet in these communities.”

The fund was created by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ivey in 2018.

The governor’s office says the fund provides grants for service providers to supply high-speed internet services in unincorporated areas or communities with 25,000 people or less.

“Governor Ivey has led the way to improve rural Alabama on many issues, none more important than connectivity to technology. Alabama is committed to improving our rural areas,” Rep. Randall Shedd said.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs oversees the Broadband Accessibility Fund.

ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said that internet service is an important piece of infrastructure that people in urban areas can take for granted.

“Providing these services in rural communities improves lives, and ADECA is proud to be a part of this important process,” Boswell said.

Grants awarded and coverage areas include:

• Roanoke Telephone Co. Inc. - $79,239 for coverage in the Five Points community in Chambers County. The project will involve more than three square miles and will include 176 households.

• R.M. Greene Inc. of Phenix City - $4,320 for coverage in the Pittsview community and in Russell County. Twenty-three households are included in the coverage area.

• R.M. Greene Inc. of Phenix City - $50,712 to provide coverage in the Dixie area in Russell County. The area includes 215 residences, two businesses and a school.

• Troy Cablevision Inc. - $575,115 for connectivity in multiple areas in Houston County (near Cottonwood and Gordon; and between Webb and Columbia) and Geneva County (near Slocomb, Coffee Springs, Geneva and Samson). The project will cover 79 miles and provide connectivity for 878 residences, 76 businesses and three community locations (like schools, libraries, fire stations and community centers).

• Troy Cablevision Inc. - $348,885 for service in Crenshaw County (near Rutledge/Luverne), Pike County (near Brundidge, Banks and Goshen) and northeast Coffee County. The project will cover 52 miles and provide connectivity for 405 households, 33 businesses and two community and public safety locations.

• Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Inc. of Rainsville - $88,668 to provide service in the Fabius and Maxwell communities near Stevenson in Jackson County, serving 47 households and one business.

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