Governor Ivey Announces Broadband Project - President Wes Grant Attends and Speaks for Alabama REALTORS®

Governor Ivey Announces Broadband Project - President Wes Grant Attends and Speaks for Alabama REALTORS®

On Tuesday, September 28, Governor Kay Ivey announced an $82.45 million grant to expand broadband internet service in the state through the new Alabama Middle-Mile Project. The project will connect nearly 3,000 miles of existing and new fiber infrastructure within a three-year period. State leaders anticipate this project to be transformative in helping build out critical infrastructure called the “middle mile” which will form the backbone of a statewide fiber network. Once connected, local service providers will be able to extend the “last mile” to currently unserved residents in rural areas.

“In 2022, being able to be connected at home, work or on the go is absolutely necessary, and this is certainly key to making that a reality,” said Governor Ivey.

The Alabama Association of REALTORS® was a member of the Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition to help support broadband expansion in the legislature. AAR President Wes Grant attended the announcement and thanked Governor Ivey and state leaders for their unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Alabamians. President Grant also spoke about the importance of broadband access to REALTORS® and Alabama homeowners and how in many cases, “access to broadband internet can be the deciding factor on where people choose to buy a home and raise their family.”

Co-Chairs of the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority Board, Senator Clay Scofield (R-Arab) and Representative Randall Shedd (R-Cullman), spoke about the importance of expanding broadband access to every corner of the state.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant through its Alabama Digital Expansion Division. Eight of Alabama’s rural electrical cooperatives formed the Fiber Utility Network, the corporation that will use the grant to provide broadband in rural areas of the state. Those co-ops include: Central Alabama, Coosa Valley, Covington, Cullman, Joe Wheeler, North Alabama, PowerSouth and Tombigbee.

State and legislative leaders were joined in attendance by leaders in the economic development and electrical utility industries, along with members of the Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition.