Rural Broadband Working Group Announced

Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday announced a Broadband Working Group to gather input and guidance on allocation of CARES Act monies. The group will be facilitated by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) appropriated $1.9 billion to Alabama to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic. Alabama Act 2020-199 divided the state funds into 10 categories and charged up to $300 million to be spent to expand broadband statewide.

“Our state has serious gaps in broadband coverage, and we must do everything possible to ensure as many of our residents and businesses have access to a service that has become a vital part of today’s world whether through education, business, healthcare or dozens of other vital areas,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “I am proud to establish this group of esteemed individuals to help us lay the groundwork moving forward.”

Members of the Broadband Working Group include:

Kenneth Boswell, Director Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

Michelle Roth Alabama Cable & Broadband Association

Marcus Campbell Alabama County Commission Association

Mayor Gary Fuller Alabama League of Municipalities

Jason Davis Alabama Power

Cedric Hudson Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition & Perry County Commissioner

Sean Strickler Alabama Rural Electric Association

Trip Horne ALFA

Wayne Hutchens AT&T

Dr. R. Mark Nelms Auburn University

Katie Britt Business Council of Alabama

Kelly Butler Alabama Department of Finance

Fred Johnson Farmers Teleco

Lindsay Rane Carter Great Southern Wood

Abe Harper Harper Technologies

Taylor Smith PowerSouth

Jeremy Fisher TVA

Dr. Eric Wallace UAB

Andy Newton Uniti Fiber

Dr. Curt Carver University of Alabama

Bob Davis Verizon

ADECA administers the Broadband Accessibility Fund which was created to assist broadband providers in extending high-speed internet service in unserved areas of the state or in areas lacking minimum threshold service. ADECA is also requesting voluntary information on broadband internet access and speed from residents and businesses. Alabamians are encouraged to take the speed survey athttps://alabama.speedsurvey.org/ to help locate gaps in broadband service.

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