The City of Lonoke will be receiving $2 million to increase its broadband capabilities.
The Arkansas Department of Commerce will be providing the funds as part of the Arkansas Rural Connect (ARC) broadband grant program. This is the third grant the department has announced.
Partnerhing with CableSouth Media 3, the city will be working to provide broadband to Lonoke homes.
“Our private sector partners continue to step up and help the state respond effectively to COVID-19,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “Providing quality broadband takes time; however, internet service providers like CableSouth Media 3 are expediting deployment to meet the needs of Arkansans.”
Broadband funding is provided through the federal CARES Act, and the state CARES Act Steering Committee and Arkansas General Assembly have approved $19.3 million for ARC grants to be spent by Dec. 30, 2020. An additional $4.7 million in funding is available for projects that extend past that deadline.
The first community to receive an ARC broadband grant was Fairfield Bay. The Department of Commerce awarded $1,568,750.25 to the city, in partnership with Arkansas Telephone Company (Artelco) to provide fiber for Fairfield Bay.
Applications for the program will close Aug. 15. According to a Department of Commerce news release, priority will be given to projects that can deploy broadband before Dec. 30.