NORTH ALABAMA (WHNT) — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has announced grants will be awarded to help with broadband connection accessibility in some North Alabama counties.

On Monday, the governor’s office announced $7.86 million in Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund grants to help local providers expand high-speed internet offerings in Marshall and Morgan Counties in North Alabama and Blount and Cullman Counties in Central Alabama. The grant program is administered by the Alabama Department of Economics and Community Affairs (ADECA), using funds allocated by the Alabama Legislature.

The expansion projects funded by the grants are expected to make broadband service accessible for more than 6,700 households, businesses and public institutions – like schools and police departments. The expansions are also meant to provide additional links to make it easier to expand broadband further in the future.

Ivey said the grants are part of Alabama’s steady progress in broadband development.

“Alabama continues to make steady strides in expanding the reach of high-speed internet services to all Alabamians,” the governor said. “I appreciate the commitment of the Alabama Legislature in providing this much-needed funding that will enhance local education, improve the delivery of critical public safety services, and grow business opportunity.”

The grants awarded and project areas are:

  • Spectrum Southeast LLC — $3.84 million to provide broadband access for 1,435 households, businesses and community anchors in parts of Marshall and Blount counties including areas in or around the town of Susan Moore and the McClarty community
  • Spectrum Southeast LLC — $1.84 million to provide broadband access for 3,610 households, businesses and community anchors in or around the Blount County towns of County Line, Hayden and Locust Fork.
  • Brindlee Mountain LLC (GoNetSpeed) — $2.18 million to provide broadband access to 1,708 households and businesses in parts of Blount, Cullman, Marshall and Morgan counties to includes part of the town of Arab and the communities of Hopewell, Union Grove, Joppa and West Point.

ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said his department is pleased to be a part of the program.

“ADECA is pleased to be on board with a program that is resulting in life-changing improvements for so many Alabamians,” he said. “We are appreciative of Gov. Ivey’s confidence in our department to enable us to participate in this program that has historical ramifications.”

Along with the grants Ivey has also unveiled Be Linked Alabama, the new name for the state’s continued efforts to expand high-speed internet. The initiative’s new website which includes a map of broadband availability in Alabama can be found here.