$59 Million Broadband Plans For South Alabama Counties
September 8, 2010
A federal grant will help improve high speed Internet availability in Escambia and seven other south Alabama counties.
A $59 million grant was awarded to Trillion Communications Corp. of Bessemer, Ala. on behalf of the South Century Alabama Broadband Commission. With nearly $27 million in matching contributions, Trillion will offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Escambia, Macon, Lowndes, Dallas, Wilcox, Butler, Crenshaw and Conecuh counties.
The project plans to directly connect as many as 400 community institutions to broadband. As many as $172,800 people and 3,000 businesses stand to benefit, according to the company’s application. The company estimates the project will create more than 550 jobs.
The grant was one of five grants totaling $111 million in Alabama, part of $7 billion in federal stimulus dollars intended to bridge the technological divide in communities that are being left in the 20th century economy and support improvements in education, healthcare, and public safety.
The projects receiving funds are part of a program – administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) – to expand broadband access and adoption across the country.
Several Florida broadband projects also received funding, but none were in Escambia or Santa Rosa counties.
Pictured: The map above shows the limited availability of broadband Internet in Escambia County, Ala. Courtesy ConnectingALABAMA for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.