Gov. Ivey awards state’s first Broadband Accessibility Fund grants

Published 1:02 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2019


MONTGOMERY – Residents in seven Alabama communities, including Chelsea, will be afforded access to high-speed internet thanks to grants awarded by Gov. Kay Ivey under the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund.

The grants totaling almost $1.1 million are the first awarded from the fund, created by the Legislature and signed into law in March 2018 by Ivey.

“These grants may only represent one step in terms of providing high-speed internet opportunities to rural Alabama, but it is a monumental leap for a program that has the ability to positively impact the lives of so many people,” Ivey said. “By supplying these services to rural Alabama, we are also providing these areas the ability to step up in education, health care and economic development.”

The Broadband Accessibility Fund provides funds for service providers to supply high-speed internet services in unincorporated areas or communities with 25,000 people or less. Under the law, awards cannot exceed 20 percent of the total cost of a project.

Ivey placed the administrative duties of the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund under the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

“Providing broadband services to Alabama’s rural communities is in many ways the equivalent of providing those same areas with electricity in early 20th Century,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA and Gov. Ivey share the goal of supplying this essential service to every part of Alabama.”

Grants awarded and coverage areas are:

  • Marcus Cables Associates of Birmingham– $11,063 for coverage in the Emerald Ridge area in Chelsea.
  • Millry Telephone Co.  Inc. of Millry–  $938,306 for coverage in incorporated areas of Gilbertown and Toxey and some unincorporated areas in Choctaw County.
  • Marcus Cable Associates of Birmingham– $11,022 for coverage in the East Wood Point area in Moulton.
  • Charter Communications– $29,567 for coverage in Glen Ridge in southwest Tuscaloosa County.
  • Charter Communications– $6,017 for coverage in Grace Haven subdivision in Boaz.
  • Charter Communications– $8,415 for coverage in the Vickey Lane area in Boaz.
  • Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Inc.– $74,586 for coverage in the Pea Ridge community near Henagar.