Gov. Kay Ivey allocates $100 million to increase internet access for students


Governor Kay Ivey

By WAFF 48 Digital Staff

A number of students across Alabama do not have reliable access to internet. Governor Kay Ivey announced Friday a plan to help.

The Governor allocated $100 million in CARES Act funding to increase access to internet for K-12 students attending school in the fall.

Alabama Broadband Connectivity (ABC) for Students will provide vouchers for families of students currently eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, or other income criteria. The vouchers can be used to help cover equipment and service costs for high-speed internet service from the fall through Dec. 31, 2020.

“Despite the upheavals in our lives during the past few months and at least into the near future, children must be able to continue their classroom instruction,” Governor Ivey said.

“This funding will expand internet access to allow more students to access distance learning while creating smaller classes in schools that provide those options and will also ensure their safety during the pandemic. While I respect those districts that have elected to use remote learning, I fear that a slide will come by keeping our kids at home. These funds will bridge the gap until all students can get back into the classroom as soon as possible.”

The funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be used to expand internet access by providing equipment and service for broadband, wireless hot spots, satellite, fixed wireless, DSL, and cellular-on-wheels. The type of internet service for an area will depend on the closest available infrastructure that is already in place.

Families with children who receive free or reduced school lunch will be notified via a mailed letter in August with more details on the program. These families may also visit the program website.