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Fiber Broadband Network Coming to 17 Alabama Cities

Infrastructure investment firm Meridiam will develop, build and run a $230 million network connecting 53,000 households and businesses in six counties. Developer Yellowhammer Networks, owned by Meridiam, will fund the project.

Selma, Demopolis and 15 “Black Belt” cities are slated to connect to a new fiber-optic network being rolled out by an infrastructure investment firm.

Meridiam will develop, build and manage the $230 million network which will eventually bring fiber broadband to 53,000 households and businesses in a 300-mile stretch of Alabama, according to an announcement from the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Developed with affiliate Yellowhammer Networks, the network will encompass Dallas, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox counties.

A network developer owned and financed by Meridiam, Yellowhammer Networks has committed to fund 100% of the project, providing strategic, technical and operational support.

Selma Mayor James Perkins said high speed reliable broadband is essential in the tech economy.

“Today, it’s as important as gas, water, and electricity. In our increasingly digital society, cities without access to fiber broadband risk falling behind. It’s critical that the city of Selma makes fiber broadband accessible citywide by building utility-like infrastructure that serves our residents’ needs today and for generations to come,” Perkins said.

Last month, Gov. Kay Ivey announced $336 million in grants awarded to Internet service providers to expand broadband availability to underserved areas of the state, such as Washington, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Monroe, Henry, Barbour, Geneva, Pickens, Lowndes and Dale counties.

Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager at the Alabama Department of Commerce, said “Alabama’s rural communities are ripe for growth, but they need the resources to compete for — and land — those high-impact growth projects that make a real difference for their citizens.”

Meridiam said the network is being developed and deployed at no cost to local governments or taxpayers.

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