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$191 million in ARP funding will go to expand broadband in Alabama

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell announced that the State of Alabama will receive $191.9 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to expand broadband access in Alabama. The award, which comes from the ARP’s Capital Projects Fund, will connect an estimated 55,000 households and businesses across the state to highspeed internet. Together with investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program is helping to close the digital divide, deploying high-speed internet to those without access and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made clear what we already knew—access to affordable, high-speed internet is critical to the success of Alabama’s families and businesses,” said Rep. Sewell. “As the only member of the Alabama Delegation to vote for the historic American Rescue Plan, I’m proud to see that Alabama is finally getting the resources it needs to expand broadband access to our rural and underserved urban communities. In conjunction with robust broadband investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding will make a big difference for our state, and I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for continuing to make broadband access a top priority!”

“The pandemic upended life as we knew it and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country, including rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to highspeed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy.”

In accordance with Treasury’s guidance, Alabama’s plan requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Affordable Connectivity Program helps ensure that households can afford the high-speed internet they need for work, school, healthcare, and more by providing a discount of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Experts estimate that nearly 40% of U.S. households are eligible for the program.