Bringing better broadband to rural areas of Alabama

Better internet access in rural areas

JASPER, Ala. (WBRC) - Jasper leaders say schools have been underserved when it comes to high-speed internet access. Thursday was a big step in fulfilling that need.

For years, students and teachers at Jasper High School have been without high-speed and sometimes functioning internet of any speed.

“Even within our city limits, there are locations where high-speed internet is not currently available,” said Jonathan Allen, Principal at Jasper High School.

Allen says that right now, his students cannot take a laptop home because of poor internet connections, but the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund announced Thursday that high-speed internet is coming to Jasper and other rural areas.

The broadband will improve educational resources for the school district meaning students can do homework on laptops at home in the future. It could also enhance the classroom learning experience.

“It will allow students to learn more effectively and have every opportunity that every student in the state of Alabama and around the world would have in learning. I really do think it’s wise in our government to look at the challenges and to try to find ways to bring this to our students,” Allen said.

Alabama senator Greg Reed says the new access will make the city of Jasper more attractive to the younger population and improve its economic growth.

“There is no way that rural Alabama is going to grow the way we need her to if she does not have rural internet access,” Reed says.

The completion of the broadband is expected to take up to 15 months.

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