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August 2023 Group Watch: “Be Linked Alabama” is Bringing Broadband to More Alabamians

Alabama currently ranks 24th in the country for states with the best and worst internet. But Governor Kay Ivey and the Department of Economic and Community Affairs are working to improve that ranking, announcing more than $400 million in federal funding and $1.4 billion from the U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program (BEAD) will be used to expand access to high-speed internet across Alabama. The efforts to bring broadband connectivity to more Alabamians are being promoted under the name Be Linked Alabama and include the state’s new Anchor Institution/Middle Mile (AIMM) program, which will be funded with the second round of American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated during the 2023 Legislative Session. More than $200 million will support this effort, which will potentially serve 500 anchor facilities. These facilities  include institutions such as colleges and universities, rural hospitals and government facilities that are inadequately served. “Middle-mile” deployment that will provide the infrastructure to help facilitate last-mile deployment by internet service providers will also be funded.

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