Arizona: BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: Governor Katie Hobbs & Wecom Fiber Break Ground on High-Speed Broadband Internet for Mohave, La Paz Counties & Hualapai Reservation

Kingman, AZ ~ Yesterday, Governor Katie Hobbs and Wecom Fiber were joined by local, federal and tribal officials to break ground on a transformative project that will deliver affordable, high-speed Internet to an estimated 32,500 Arizonans across Mohave and La Paz counties and the Hualapai Reservation.

The $54 million project is powered by a public-private partnership that includes state and federal grants. In 2022, Wecom was awarded a competitive $10 million Arizona Broadband Development Grant to bring high-speed Internet to Mohave and La Paz counties. Separately, Wecom was awarded a $3.2 million USDA ReConnect Grant to construct broadband fiber for the Hualapai Reservation.

Governor Hobbs expressed her commitment to bridging Arizona's digital divide with this investment. "As the reliance on digital services increases, it's critical that we ensure our people, businesses, and community services are capable of handling the demand," she said. "I am laser focused on getting that done."

Wecom CEO Paul Fleming also spoke of the importance of reliable broadband access for businesses needing access to the online marketplace, jobseekers, students engaged in remote learning, patients utilizing telehealth and more. "We thank Governor Hobbs and our state, local, tribal and federal partners for their support of vital project," he said.

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Chairwoman Sherry J. Parker of the Hualapai Reservation expressed her excitement for what this project will mean for her people: "Our beautiful Hualapai Reservation is remote but we will have the world at our fingertips thanks to reliable broadband service."

Chairman Travis Lingenfelter of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors also spoke about how important this project is for rural Arizona: "Access to reliable broadband should not depend on a person's home address which is why I look forward to the completion of this project and continued expansion of high-speed Internet access across western Arizona and rural communities statewide."

Construction of 2,250 miles of multi-gigabit broadband fiber will facilitate an estimated 250 jobs in the near-term but has much broader economic educational and other benefits for Arizona communities that have gone without for years. In February 2021 Wecom broadband Internet will begin for customers in Mohave and La Paz counties as well as the Hualapai Reservation with completion scheduled for April 2024 in tribal areas June 2025 in Mohave and La Paz counties respectively.

Filed Under: Government, State

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