Governor Ivey Announces Broadband Working Group for CARES Act Funding
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 Williams 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 at https://alabama.speedsurvey.org/ to help locate gaps in broadband service.
A meeting of the Broadband Working Group will be virtually held on Friday, June 26 at 11:00 a.m. Members of the media who wish to listen in, please RSVP with Mike Presley at ADECA at Mike.Presley@adeca.alabama.gov.