Cullman Electric Cooperative Statement in Response to ADECA Grant Funding for Sprout Fiber Internet
Cullman Electric Cooperative was pleased to learn the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) announced today it has approved a grant for $4,579,716.92 to assist the co-op with its Sprout Fiber Internet project.
Grant writing is a difficult and time-consuming task with no guaranteed return on those efforts. We are excited to learn that the hours of hard work put into the application process by Cullman Electric’s dedicated employees has resulted in grant money that will directly benefit co-op members.
The ADECA grant will help bring Sprout Fiber Internet to more than 1,300 households, 33 businesses and 23 anchor institutions* in Cullman, Winston and Morgan Counties, moving Cullman Electric closer to its ultimate goal of providing Sprout Fiber Internet to all co-op members. Some of the grant-funded locations are included in Sprout’s 2023 expansion plan, and the grant’s money will be used to offset budgeted expenses. Some areas that received funding are in Sprout’s future phases and will be included as part of our 2024 expansion plan.
We are grateful to our state legislative delegation of Senator Garlan Gudger, Representative Randall Shedd, Representative Corey Harbison and Representative Tim Wadsworth for recognizing the need to expand broadband fiber internet services in our area.
Representative Shedd, who serves as the Co-chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee on Rural Broadband and is vice-chair of the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority, has been an outspoken advocate of Sprout Fiber Internet and for broadband expansion throughout rural communities in his district and across Alabama. We cannot thank him enough for his support.
The team at ADECA, specifically Director Kenneth Boswell and Division Chief for the Digital Expansion Division Maureen Neighbors, are doing exceptional work to make sure these funds are being used effective to improve the quality of life in rural communities. We appreciate their commitment to helping Alabamians that need access to high-speed broadband internet.
Cullman Electric Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative serving more than 46,000 member accounts in Cullman, Winston, Lawrence and Morgan counties.
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* ADECA defines community anchors to be libraries, schools, police and fire stations, health care facilities, churches or other similar places.