Broadband expansion in Alabama will be a hot topic in 2022 after the state legislature teed up over $276 million in broadband-related spending from funding provided under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The appropriations bill passed during the final day of a special session called specifically to divvy up ARPA funding for broadband expansion and other state priorities such as water/sewer investments and healthcare. The Alabama Legislature provided few details on how the broadband money will be spent, leaving implementation specifics to state regulators. The Legislature is expected to take up more broadband-related items in regular session this year, including action to allocate millions more in broadband funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Taken together, this federal funding represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to promote broadband deployment and adoption that deserves close attention by both service providers and state/local governments.
Read the full article at the National Law Review.