$53.3M Grant For Alabama's Middle Mile Network

The money comes from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

$53.3M Grant For Alabama's Middle Mile Network
Photo of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

June 27, 2024 – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a $53.3 million grant through the Alabama Anchor Institution Middle-Mile Program for expanding middle mile builds in the state on Tuesday. 

The grant was awarded to Alabama Fiber Network, a coalition of electric cooperatives, to support the second phase of the state’s middle-mile broadband network. “This grant phase is another giant step in the long, but attainable process of providing high-speed internet to every corner of the state,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.

The AIMM program is supported the federal State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. It is a subgrant award in which grantees must apply for approval through the state.

“This project will add approximately 1,095 miles of high-speed middle-mile broadband for our communities, and it will connect approximately 120 community anchors, like educational institutions, medical facilities, local government offices and police and fire departments to this service,” said Ivey. The money will fund service to over 7,500 unserved businesses and residences throughout 24 counties in Alabama. 

Electric cooperatives such as Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative, Covington Electric Cooperative, Cullman Electric Cooperative, Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Cooperative, North Alabama Electric Cooperative and Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, and the generation/transmission cooperative PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, help make up The Alabama Fiber network.

In February, Ivey announced that the state would dedicate $188.4 million to the expansion of “middle mile” broadband and spend $150 million on broadband expansion. 

The BEAD initiative allocates $42.5 billion for last-mile broadband connectivity, while $1 billion is designated for middle-mile infrastructure, which connects data centers to individual homes. Applicants for middle mile grants must commit to completing their projects within five years of funding availability, with provisions for a one-year extension under certain conditions.

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