Lonoke, Ark. (News release) – The City of Lonoke has received a $2M grant in order to aid the process of providing internet to homes in the city.
“Investing CARES Act funds for broadband deployment is significant for the state’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “Broadband availability is important for recruiting businesses, developing our workforce, and sustaining rural communities.”
“Our private sector partners continue to step up and help the state respond effectively to COVID-19,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Providing quality broadband takes time; however, internet service providers like CableSouth Media 3 are expediting deployment to meet the needs of Arkansans.”
The Arkansas Department of Commerce received $19.3M in CARES Act funds for ARC grants after an approval from the CARES Act Steering Committee and the Arkansas legislature. Grant recipients must expend the COVID-19 federal funds by December 30 of this year. Additionally, $4.7M is available in state funds for projects that would extend beyond December 30. The goal of the program is to provide high speed broadband to rural communities.
“The legislature has made broadband a top priority,” State Senator Jonathan Dismang said. “I will continue to champion these efforts as we continue to expand the broadband footprint across District 28.”
“This grant will provide significant improvement to the infrastructure in the city of Lonoke as well as better facilitating the educational system,” said State Representative Roger Lynch. “It will also provide support to those whose jobs and businesses require a more reliable and faster service. I’m pleased to see our community move forward with this grant.”
The department is currently evaluating applications with a focus on projects that can deploy broadband to qualified areas before December 30. For more information or to apply for an ARC grant, visit www.broadband.arkansas.gov.