Bentley highlights need for faster internet in rural Alabama


MONROEVILLE, Ala. (AP) – Gov. Robert Bentley is meeting with rural educators to highlight his plan to expand high-speed internet service across Alabama. Bentley visited the southwest Alabama town of Monroeville on Monday, saying an area can’t have a top educational system without a fast connection to the digital world. Bentley hopes to use Education Trust Fund money to match a federal grant program called E-rate to expand connectivity in rural parts of the state.

A 2015 Federal Communications Commission report found almost 35 percent of Alabamians don’t have high-speed internet service. Some rural schools, like Monroeville Elementary, have updated technology like personal laptops but are still hobbled by expensive and spotty internet service.

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