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Reporting by WVUA 23’s Jordan Johnson

The Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition announced Thursday morning to the people of Jasper that there is going to be an expansion of broadband internet to their area in the year 2020.

Judging by their reactions, the community is pleased. Having reliable internet service is much more than being able to check Facebook or to send out a tweet.

“If you ask the people of Alabama what are the most important issues to them, they’re going to say economic development, jobs,” said Sen. Greg Reed. “They are going to say education. They are going to talk about health care for themselves and for their neighbors. If you look at internet access, it is the thread that runs through every one of those topics I just mentioned.”

This expansion is made possible because C Spire, a telecommunications and technology service company from Mississippi, is now a partner with the Coalition. According to, 13% fewer families in rural and lower-income counties have internet.

“There is no difference in the need,” said Hu Meena, CEO of C Spire. “There is a difference in the infrastructure that’s provided, but there is no difference in the need. We are just trying to meet that need.”

The partnership is not only to help the current education and healthcare in the area, but it is also to attract even more companies and residents.

“Without the technology to support industries to make your city attractive to people that would consider living there, than the chances of growing are nil,” said Jasper mayor David O’Mary.

Reed said that this partnership is not closed to C Spire. It is opened to any and all companies that want to be involved in making life in Alabama’s rural areas a little easier.

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