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Alabama to receive $1.4B from federal government for broadband access expansion


Governor Kay Ivey announced today Alabama will receive $1.4 billion from the U.S. Department of Commerce to boost ongoing efforts to expand broadband access to unserved areas.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today released the state allocationsfrom the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), which oversees state broadband initiatives, will be the administering agency for the grant funds.

“My priority is for Alabama to gain full ability to be connected to high-speed internet,” Ivey said in a press release. “We have taken several significant strides toward this goal, and today’s announcement provides a tremendous boost in the journey toward full broadband access no matter where you live in Alabama.”

States receiving the funds have 180 days to prepare and submit plans to the NTIA for use of the funds. ADECA’s Alabama Digital Expansion Division will complete Alabama’s required proposal. The division is also managing funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund for grant programs to help internet service providers extend service to previously unserved or underserved areas.

In an online statement, ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said the efforts by Governor Ivey, the Alabama legislature and internet service providers have allowed the state to progress in its mission to close the digital divide.

“Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Ivey and a strong team effort among the Legislature, internet service providers and many others, Alabama is continuing to make great progress in broadband mapping, planning and deployment,” Boswell said.

The governor's office in a press release said Alabama has invested $88.6 million to support 109 projects through the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund since 2018. Once all Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund projects awarded to date have been completed, broadband service access will be available to more than 82,000 homes, businesses and community institutions. These users currently have no option to subscribe.

The agency has also developed a statewide broadband map and the Alabama Connectivity Plan. The governor's office said the map and plan help guide the state’s expansion efforts into unserved areas.

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