Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed two broadband bills into law last week. “I look forward to seeing the great strides that our rural citizens will take now that they have the same opportunity as those who live in larger cities,” said Ivey, according to Yellowhammer News.
Last year, State Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) introduced the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act, which created a grant program to expand broadband service. The two bills signed last Thursday are expected to keep that momentum moving, according to the account.
HB 400, the Broadband Using Electric Easements Accessibility Act, will allow electricity providers to use or allow the use of existing or future electric easements for broadband purposes. SB 90 updates and expands Scofield’s Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund, increasing the minimum service threshold and amending the amount of grants that can be awarded for specific broadband projects.
Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said the bills will be helpful to rural constituents. “More than 840,000 Alabamians have not had access to broadband and therefore have lacked total, fair access to our worldwide economy. I hope to see movement on getting as many people connected as soon as possible.”
June 3, 2019