Charter won two grants totaling $5.7 million and GoNetspeed won a $2.2 million grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) this week. The funding will go toward the cost of deploying broadband in four counties.
In a press release, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the “much-needed” funding will “enhance local education, improve the delivery of critical public safety services and grow business opportunity.”
The funding came through the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund. The projects will make broadband available to more than 6,700 households, businesses and community anchors, ADECA said.
One of Charter’s projects is in parts of Marshall and Blount counties, including areas in or around the town of Susan Moore and the McClarty community. The other project is in or around Blount County towns of County Line, Hayden and Locust Fork.
GoNetspeed’s project is in parts of Blount, Cullman, Marshall and Morgan counties, including part of the town of Arab and the communities of Hopewell, Union Grove, Joppa and West Point.
Charter has been winning lots of rural broadband funding. The company ended up being the biggest winner in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program after the FCC declined to authorize LTD Broadband to receive funding. Charter’s winning bids totaled over $1 billion.
Since RDOF, Charter won an additional $700 million in funding, largely through state-level programs.
The company’s success in winning rural broadband funding inspired other cable companies to also seek funding. Comcast and Cox have been chalking up a considerable number of wins, as have some smaller cable companies.
GoNetspeed relies, in large part, on private funding for network expansion. But, as the Alabama news shows, the company also pursues at least some public funding.
Details about the latest Alabama awards can be found in the press release at this link.
Additional information about the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund, including links to relevant state web pages, previous award winners, and news coverage, can be found on Telecompetitor’s Broadband Nation page for Alabama.