HALEYVILLE - Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission has approved a $1,500,000 grant to the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative for the Haleyville Fiber Infrastructure Project.
This project will help install 99 miles of new fiber construction which will provide internet access to approximately 252 businesses and over 1,500 households in Marion and Winston Counties.
“The internet is vital to economic development, health, education, and really all areas of our modern life. This grant will help extend broadband networks into some underserved areas in rural Alabama,” Governor Ivey said. “I appreciate the efforts of Congressman Robert Aderholt and Tombigbee President Steve Foshee. Their leadership and hard work is moving our state forward. Expanding broadband internet is a key piece of my plan to increase the quality of life for all Alabamians, especially those in rural Alabama. I know many more projects like this are on the horizon and Tombigbee can serve as a shining example of success.”
This area of Alabama is underserved with reliable internet access. The new service will be able to provide affordable 100 meg service to households and business speeds of up to 10 gig will be available.
“Access to broadband internet in rural America is almost identical to the struggle for electric power in rural areas a century ago. This lack of high-speed internet infrastructure has created two Americas,” Congressman Aderholt said. “One America has access to educational, economic and medical opportunities available because of access to broadband. In the other America, people are, in some cases, limited to the dial up internet of the 1990s. But this reality is going to change and is changing. And there is no one better than Governor Kay Ivey to ensure that rural Alabama is not forgotten. Like me, Governor Ivey grew up in a rural area and is now in a position to be a fighter for the people of rural Alabama and all of Alabama.”
In addition to ARC funds, Tombigbee will provide $2,632,795, bringing the total project funding to $4,132,795.
Through a phased approach, Tombigbee plans to construct a fiber network to every home and business in Marion, Lamar, Fayette and most of Winston Counties. Earlier this year, ARC approved a grant to bring fiber facilities to Bear Creek and western Haleyville.
Tombigbee Electric Cooperative President and CEO Steve Foshee said, “Governor Kay Ivey and Congressman Robert Aderholt are true champions for rural Alabama. They clearly understand and support Tombigbee’s efforts to bring prosperity to Northwest Alabama that has been suffering so much. We appreciate them so much. With their continued support we will succeed.”
The ARC grant is administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.