(WDHN) — The effort to expand broadband connectivity across the state is getting stronger!

The Alabama Broadband Accessibility passed in 2018, but the state funds to use for grants to attract Internet providers were limited.

Now, the state has increased state dollars and with the American Rescue Plan funds, the state has 276 million dollars to be used for grants to encourage providers.

Five million will be used for infrastructure for the Middle Mile, a telecommunication network linking major cities to rural underserved areas.

Senator Donnie Chesteen of Geneva said some internet providers have already hit the ground running.

“Charter Spectrum announced they are going to invest 26 million in Geneva County trying to go border to border and then Pea River Electric is moving forward to expand high-speed internet in Dale and Barbour counties,” Sen. Chesteen said.

Senator Chesteen said the target date for the Charter Spectrum plan is December 2023.