Lee County moves forward with Phase 2 of broadband project

Phase 2 of broadband internet access moving forward  Opelika Auburn News

Lee County moves forward with Phase 2 of broadband project

Lee County moves forward with Phase 2 of broadband project

Lee County Broadband Expansion Grant Program


Communities in the East Central, North East, South Central, and Southeast parts of Lee County will receive high-speed broadband coverage in the second phase of the expansion projects. The Lee County Commission has voted to move forward with the next phase of the Lee County Broadband Expansion Grant program, allocating up to $3.4 million of the American Rescue Plan Act funds towards the program.

Phase Two Grant Program

In 2023, the commission approved the motion to allocate a total of $4.3 million to broadband expansion. Over $984,400 of those funds were used for projects in Salem, South Central, and Loachapoka. County Administrator Holly Leverette stated that these projects helped identify additional areas in Lee County that are unserved and underserved.

Identifying Areas in Need

Leverette explained that through citizen communications and the project implementation process, it became apparent that there are still areas in Lee County that require broadband access. However, there are no conclusive maps across the state indicating ongoing projects. Leverette mentioned that Lee County will work with Internet service providers (ISPs) awarded the grants to identify areas in need and prioritize them based on the county’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Application Process

The applications for the phase two grant program are now open on the Lee County website. The proposed project areas include East Central, North East, South Central, and Southeast areas of Lee County. Each project will require the construction of broadband infrastructure to provide reliable service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps download speed and 20 Mbps upload speed.

Timeline and Funding

The applications must be submitted by May 10. The county has until the end of 2024 to contract out its ARPA funds. Leverette mentioned that with phase two, the county may not spend the full $3.4 million, allowing them to explore alternative plans or contract the remaining funds before the end of the year.

Other Commission Business

In addition to the broadband expansion grant program, the Lee County Commission addressed several other matters:

  1. Participation in the Alabama PALS “Don’t Drop it on Alabama” 2024 spring clean-up event
  2. Designation of ARPA revenue replacement funds for the Refuse Disposal Fund and Loachpoka Park
  3. Update to the FEMA Flood Damage Prevention resolution
  4. Allocation of ARPA local tribal consistency funds for courtroom camera updates
  5. Bid approval for emergency equipment for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office
  6. Tabled issues related to the planning director position, field rental fees, and ProWatch access control technology


The Lee County Commission is committed to expanding broadband access in underserved areas of the county. By leveraging ARPA funds and working with ISPs, the commission aims to bridge the digital divide and contribute to the achievement of SDGs related to sustainable infrastructure and inclusive economic growth.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Target 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020 The article mentions the expansion of broadband coverage in Lee County, which aims to provide high-speed internet access to underserved areas.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Target 11.a: Support positive economic, social, and environmental links between urban, peri-urban, and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning The article discusses the identification of unserved and underserved areas in Lee County, indicating a need for improved infrastructure and connectivity in both urban and rural areas.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals Target 17.17: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships The article mentions that Lee County will work with Internet service providers (ISPs) to identify areas in need and prioritize projects. This indicates a partnership between the county and ISPs to achieve the goal of expanding broadband access.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: oanow.com


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