$ 291 million to be spent on expanding high-speed Internet access in Alabama


DOTHAN, Alabama (WDHN) – The State of Alabama has access to $ 291 million that can be used to help bring high-speed Internet to every home and business in the state.

“This money is really going to help get it to underserved areas, but it falls short of meeting the needs that we have across the state,” Alabama State Senator Donnie Chesteen said.

To get high-speed internet access across the state it would cost between $ 2 billion and $ 4 billion, but with the $ 191 million US bailout and $ 100 million in infrastructure, the state will be able to tackle the problem of high frequencies. High speed internet throughout the state.

The current internet minimum is 25 megabits down and three megabits up, which means 25 megabits per second download.

Then it downloads 3 megabits per second, but the new federal funding could mean faster speeds.

“The speed is going to be 100 down and 20 up. So it’s going to be a lot faster, ”Chesteen said.

That broadband will be extended through fiber-optic cables, and lawmakers are trying to provide internet providers with the funds to expand their coverage statewide.

For example: in Geneva County, one of those underserved rural counties, Charter Spectrum will spend $ 7 million to bring broadband to 5,500 homes.

It doesn’t mean everyone will take their offer, but the company tries to make the service available and affordable.

“That customer over there isn’t paying for high-speed internet anymore, so the area is,” Chesteen said.

It will take some time for high-speed internet to arrive throughout the state of Alabama, but lawmakers now have a map of every household in the state with its WiFi connection speed.

This map will be available to the public in January and will serve as a tool to achieve the overall goal.

“Having every home and every business in the state with high speed internet,” Chesteen said.

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