Here are the two things you need to know about the latest round of broadband funding in Arkansas:
- 14 projects will cover almost 14,000 households at a cost of around $6,800 per household.
- While this is the last round of ARPA money for broadband, additional projects WILL be funded under infrastructure money that’s on its way.
The main takeaway for legislators and leaders is that if your project wasn’t funded, don’t worry too much. The Department of Commerce assures there’s plenty more money incoming for future projects.
If you’re an Arkansan in a rural area with crummy internet, here’s where the projects are located and how many households impacted:
- Boone, 775
- Cleburne, 807
- Cross, 534
- Faulkner, 1,645
- Franklin, 598
- Garland, 1,718
- Jackson, 249
- Logan, 1,702
- Montgomery (A), 1,082
- Montgomery (B), 839
- Pulaski (A), 891
- Pulaski (B), 1,333
- Searcy, 755
- St. Francis, 951
There were initially 20 projects planned for this round, but 6 of them were nixed after complaints were made about the bid / selection process. Those 6 are under the review, but Department of Commerce staff assured that they would be funded in a subsequent round (under the infrastructure grant).
See a map of the projects below with a red X over the projects that were taken off of this round. The legislature will take a final vote on the 14 approved projects on Friday.