MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Digital Expansion Authority elected Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) to be chair of the authority, which is responsible for advising, reviewing, and approving a statewide broadband connectivity plan as outlined in the Connect Alabama Act of 2021 – or SB215 sponsored by Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) – signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.
The bill establishes the Alabama Digital Expansion Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) that will prepare and execute the connectivity plan and establish and oversee a broadband accessibility grant program. The grant program will foster the placement and approval of high-speed broadband internet networks, services, and technologies across the state.
“Providing high-speed internet to rural and unserved communities in Alabama has been one of my top priorities since I was first elected to the Senate over a decade ago,” Scofield said. “We have witnessed our state transform into an economic powerhouse over the years, cultivating industrial expansion, job growth, technological advancements, and much more.
“I am humbled to have been elected chair of the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority, and I appreciate the support I have received from my fellow members. I would also like to congratulate Representative Randall Shedd for being chosen as co-chair,” continued Scofield. “The future of our state relies on the expansion of broadband, so it is critically important that we get this right. I look forward to the productive work and collaboration that will take place to develop an efficient, powerful plan to improve Alabama’s broadband infrastructure.”
Sen. Scofield spearheaded broadband expansion efforts by sponsoring the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act, a grant program administered by ADECA.