ACA awards $100 million in broadband grants to 20 winners

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PHOENIX – The Arizona Commerce Authority announced earlier this month the awarding of $100 million in broadband grants to 20 winners in rural and urban Arizona to increase connections in underserved areas .

Under the Arizona Broadband Development Grant program launched last November by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, $75.7 million will go to 14 winners in rural counties, while 23, $6 million will go to six winners in urban counties, according to the ACA.

“This award represents a generational investment to connect rural and underserved areas of the state and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that all Arizonans have access to high-speed internet,” Ducey said in the release.

“Whether it’s public safety, education, telemedicine or otherwise, reliable internet access is more important than ever.”

The grant projects aim to increase connection for schools, homes, public safety agencies, medical facilities, libraries, and businesses upon completion.

Some projects will involve installing high-speed fiber optic infrastructure and extending existing and intermediate fiber networks.

In the Valley, Surprise and city-based internet provider Wyyerd have received $1.65 million to improve broadband capacity in its downtown and Heritage District, according to a press release. .

Wyyerd plans to install around 40 miles of fiber in the two areas, which will help provide capacity and greater accessibility for underserved residents of the Heritage District, where more than 31% of households do not have a subscription. High-speed Internet.

Gila Bend and Wickenburg were the other two towns in Maricopa County that received broadband grants, while three others were given to winners in Pima County.

Grants were also distributed in 10 rural counties, excluding Gila, Greenlee and Yavapai counties.

The grant builds on the Arizona Statewide Middle-Mile Strategic Plan launched in February that will install 200 miles of broadband conduit in corridors along Interstate 17 and Interstate 19 by 2023.

“These collaborative projects will improve the way Arizonans live, work and learn, no matter where they live,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the ACA, in the release.

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