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$37M invested for high speed internet in unserved, rural Alabama

About 11,000 rural households and more than 230 businesses will be connected to high-speed...
About 11,000 rural households and more than 230 businesses will be connected to high-speed internet through the grant program in Alabama.(Source: WSFA)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 4:29 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Thousands of Alabamians in rural areas will be connected to the internet.

The Trump Administration announced Friday that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $37 million to provide broadband service.

This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.

“No one wants to move to rural areas because there’s no opportunity to really get to the outside world. So these types of grants, these types of things are absolutely amazing,” said Anne Capps with Pine Belt Telephone Company.

About 11,000 rural households and more than 230 businesses will be connected to high-speed internet through the grant program in Alabama. The grants will also connect some educational facilities, fire stations and post offices.

“It is so important for their quality of life and their ability to compete in a worldwide market, educate their children, and get access to telemedicine. All the things that are very important for any community to provide,” U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand.

Central Alabama Electric Cooperative will use a $8.6 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 13,853 people, 149 farms, 77 businesses and one fire station to high-speed broadband internet in Bibb, Chilton, Perry, Autauga, Talladega, Elmore and Coosa counties in Alabama.

Millry Telephone Company Inc. will use a $8.3 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 4,444 people, 84 farms, 46 businesses, four fire stations and a post office to high-speed broadband internet in Choctaw and Washington counties in Alabama.

Pine Belt Telephone Company Inc. will use a $6.5 million ReConnect grant and a $6.5 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 5,799 people, 143 farms, 83 businesses, five fire stations, five educational facilities and four post offices to high-speed broadband internet in Perry, Hale and Marengo counties in Alabama.

Moundville Telephone Co. Inc. will use a $166,000 ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 111 people and a farm to high-speed broadband internet in Hale County, Alabama.

Mon-Cre Telephone Cooperative Inc. will use a $5.8 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 2,546 people, 36 farms, 19 businesses and three fire stations to high-speed broadband internet in Crenshaw, Lowndes and Montgomery counties.

Hayneville Telephone Company Inc. will use a $1.5 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 1,481 people, 19 farms, nine businesses and four educational facilities to high-speed broadband internet in Lowndes County.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

Original Story: https://www.wsfa.com/2020/10/23/m-invested-high-speed-internet-unserved-rural-alabama/