As part of his fiscal 2021 budget proposal, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wants to expand broadband access to rural parts of the state.
The Arizona Rural Broadband Development Grant, which accelerates the enhancement of broadband infrastructure and supports economic growth, recently was awarded to several recipients by the Arizona Commerce Authority.
Ducey’s office says his fiscal 2021 budget proposal includes $10 million to more than triple the ARBDG.
According to Governing.com, governors are using their platforms to underscore the importance of making sure all residents, regardless of where they live, have options to get online.
In his State of the State address last month, Ducey acknowledged that technology can improve government and the state overall.
The governor said that his budget includes $50 million to install broadband conduit and fiber along 514 miles of rural interstate highway as well as an additional $9 million for highway safety technology that utilizes the new fiber.
According to Ducey, $50 million will be invested into the Smart Highway Corridor program, which leverages the highway system as a route for broadband infrastructure. His office reported that the Smart Highway Corridors include new traffic safety technology along three routes such as infrared wrong-way detection systems, road temperature sensors, dynamic message signs and traffic cameras that will support first responders and improve highway safety.
The new broadband conduit will open the door for private sector partnerships that support 21st century freight, the future of automated vehicles and rural broadband connectivity, a statement from the governor’s office said.