MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) today reached an important milestone as it has now hosted community broadband meetings in each of Alabama’s 67 counties. These meetings, implemented through the Alabama Community Broadband Technical Assistance Program, are designed to bring community leaders to the table and provide state-level assistance to support local efforts to expand broadband infrastructure for the benefit of the public and economic development.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recognized the importance of having hosted these meetings in all counties across the state and thanked the many different partners involved for their participation in this program.
“No matter where you live and what you do, being connected to the world is an absolute necessity for everyone,” Gov. Ivey said. “Without it, businesses cannot thrive, students cannot excel in their studies, and families are deprived of many services and personal enrichment opportunities. Increasing high-speed internet access has been and will continue to be a top priority of my administration. My goal has been to make sure everyone in Alabama, regardless of where they live, will have the ability to achieve high-speed connectivity by the time I leave office. These meetings, which have now been held in every Alabama county, have helped lay the groundwork for our state to get across the finish line.
“As I’ve said before,” Gov Ivey added, “achieving full broadband coverage is a journey, not a short trip. And most importantly, it takes a team. It is evident given the buy-in we’ve received from community leaders and residents across our state that we have a winning team. There is no doubt that Alabama will be a model for the nation when it comes to achieving full broadband coverage.”
ADECA’s Digital Expansion Division developed the Alabama Community Broadband Technical Assistance Program in response to the critical need for high-speed internet access in communities across the state. Through this program, ADECA provides technical assistance meetings at the county level for communities seeking to expand broadband infrastructure and services. These meetings are intended to be the starting point to produce local insights and the data and planning needed to take advantage of future opportunities for broadband deployment.
Gov. Ivey helped kicked off the first county-level meeting in Montgomery County on Dec. 12, 2022. Today, just a few months later, ADECA hosted the 67th county-level meeting in Autauga County.
ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell today thanked Gov. Ivey for her leadership and praised the successful implementation of this program:
“It is no secret that one of Gov. Ivey’s top priorities is the expansion of access to high-speed internet to all Alabamians, regardless of their zip code. The State of Alabama reaching this important milestone in our broadband journey today demonstrates that we are taking the steps needed to make that happen, and I thank the governor for her leadership and support on this issue,” Boswell said. “We have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead of us, but it’s important to recognize milestones such as this and to thank the countless people, including the great team we have at ADECA and all of those at the local level who have put their time and effort into this process, for making it a success.”
While the conclusion of today’s meeting in Autauga County marked the milestone of each Alabama county having hosted a community broadband meeting, ADECA will hold periodic additional meetings including at the MOWA Choctaw Housing Authority Administration Building in Washington County on May 25, 2023.
The conclusion of these broadband meetings will result in county-specific profiles for each Alabama county with strategic approaches to help communities achieve broadband goals and to position counties to take advantage of significant broadband funding opportunities in the state during the next few years.
B-roll of the meeting can be found here for your publishing and broadcasting purposes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZvFgQKL49po3DFNSmoTXKrkwDtnV7yyn/view?usp=share_link
A photo album from today’s event can be found here for your publishing and broadcasting purposes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adeca/albums/72177720308384484