Rural Households in Alabama Receive First Broadband Hookup
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Simya Dickson
TUSCALOOSA, AL- Households across Marion County now have access to high-speed internet.
The first broadband hookup was installed in the county by Tombigee Communications.
The company provides rural households with access to their Freedom Fiber internet service.
Tombigbee Electric Cooperative President and CEO Steve Foshee said the company strives to provide high-speed internet access to anyone who wants it.
“Tombigbee is trying to construct and is constructing a fiber-optic network that will go to every home and business that desires to have it,” said Foshee. “We’re doing that in six counties. So, we have constructed about 1100 miles to date. We’ve connected over 9,000 homes, and we have an additional 20,000 more to get to.”
Consequently, fiber internet access allows rural areas to compete with larger cities.
Residents of Marion County say the access to high-speed internet will make a large difference in their lives.
“Our kids, Adan and Alex, were both having to rely on our hotspots from our phones, and they were very unreliable,” said Brilliant School Principal Adam Aldridge. “Over the last few days we can see a significant difference. The kids are using it for the gaming, of course, but you can tell there is a tremendous difference.”
State Rep. Robert Aderholt said it’s important to offer the same resources that larger cities receive to rural areas.
“We had an opportunity to try to put some federal dollars in trying to expand broadband across the country,” said Aderholt. “You know the larger cities were getting broadband. You had broadband in the larger cities not only in other parts of the country but even in some parts of the state. But rural Alabama and other rural states were not getting the same treatment.”
Tombigbee communications plan to continue to expand its Freedom Fiber service to more rural areas across Northwest Alabama.