Alabama Power celebrates progress in expanding fiber broadband access

The power to bring electricity to Alabama began with water more than a century ago. By using this resource, energy companies and cooperatives have electrified the state and created growth. The next transformational step is fiber, which leaders say is the future of connectivity and a tool for continued economic growth in Alabama.

Alabama Power supports efforts to connect unserved and underserved areas of the state through a partnership with the Fiber Utility Network, a company formed by eight rural utility co-ops to fund middle-mile broadband. Leveraging Alabama Power’s already available fiber optic facilities, which are working to ensure a resilient power grid, will help bring broadband access to approximately 345 cities with populations under 25,000.

Alabama Power leaders Gov. Kay Ivey highlights major advances in fiber broadband from the Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Earlier this month, more than 300 employees from 30 divisions at Alabama Power and parent company Southern Company gathered at Alabama Power’s General Services Complex in Calera to celebrate efforts to advance technology and improve reliability through the use of fiber and partnerships with to improve electricity cooperatives.

The event included remarks from Gov. Kay Ivey; Jeff Peoples, executive vice president of customer and employee services at Alabama Power; and Scott Moore, the company’s senior vice president of power delivery, all of whom took note of the team’s transformative work.

“Alabama Power is a proud infrastructure partner on the middle-mile broadband projects, and we are thrilled to have Governor Ivey with us to celebrate the advances we have helped make,” Peoples said.

How Alabama Power is helping to close Alabama’s digital divide, from the Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Recently, Ivey awarded an $82.45 million grant to the Fiber Utility Network to provide high-speed Internet access throughout Alabama.

“Alabama Power is a major force in Alabama’s economic engine, and it’s people like you who not only keep our lights on, but prepared us for a 21stEconomy and Workforce of the Century,” said Ivey.

“Together, we are the cornerstone of the 3,000-mile fiber optic distribution network that will provide connectivity to nearly all of Alabama’s 67 counties,” added Ivey. “This is a critical step in ensuring all Alabamaans have the resources they need, not just to survive, but to achieve.”

As the economy becomes more dependent on information, world leaders say the need for high-speed internet is more important than ever. Students need it to help with schoolwork and take online classes, businesses rely on it to run their businesses, and rural patients can conduct health visits without having to travel to major cities. Building a more connected Alabama will attract new businesses, create jobs and retain young professionals to help communities thrive, Ivey said.

“We want to be at the forefront of making a difference for our customers and providing reliable service,” said Moore. “We have a strength around our fiber optic infrastructure that not many other states can claim. We want to continue to impact areas of growth for our state that fiber brings.”

The Fiber Utility Network has more than 3,000 miles of fiber in Alabama, with more than a third made up of fiber from Alabama Power’s infrastructure.

To learn more about Alabama Power’s use of fiber for reliability and its ability to bridge the digital divide, click here.