Federal grant to help give rural Alabama faster internet access

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, December 5, 2019

About $29 million in federal funding announced Thursday will help expand high-speed internet access in remote parts of rural Alabama, officials said.

The Department of Agriculture is providing the money in grants and loans to Tombigbee Communications, which serves much of Alabama northwest of Birmingham.

An announcement said the company is developing a fiber-optic network that will cover underserved areas in Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Marion, Walker and Winston counties. The area includes some 1,100 square miles with more than 2,100 households plus 15 businesses, 20 farms, five schools and other facilities.

Residents should have ultra high-speed internet service in three to five years, a statement said.

The fiber optic service already is connected in Hamilton and Winfield, and construction is underway in Hackleburn, Haleyville, Sulligent and Vernon.

Tombigbee Communications is a subsidiary of Tombigbee Electric Cooperative.