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10:58PM September 30, 2019

Gary Fowler

A $3 Mil grant to supply high speed internet to RURAL Marion County, not downtown cities who already have broadband capability, was the purpose. May 4, 2018 "The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) recently awarded Tombigbee Communications a $2.98 million grant, which will go directly to providing our freedom FIBER services to some of our most rural areas in Northwest Alabama." I live 350 yards from Winfield city limit along HWY 118 east towards Jasper. No option for internet except satellite, NONE! On the Tombigbee system. When is rural Marion County supposed to be getting this Federally funded internet to give rural Alabamians opportunity for real broadband internet? Still no where closer than 2 years ago. When will we get service or is this a better question for Congressman Aderholt, Rep. Tracy Estes, Governor Ivey and Secretary Sonny Perdue? We deserve service as well as answers. When?

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9:47AM October 01, 2019

Jessica Garrison
Hi Mr. Fowler! I understand your question and your concerns. We know we have people all over Northwest Alabama who both need and want this service. We were honored to receive our almost $3M grant in May of 2018. This grant did help us connect some of the most rural parts in the middle of Marion County who would have likely been in the last parts of our project due to the customers per mile of line. This grant was specifically slated for this area, and we're happy to say we've connected many customers in our grant area. While grants are definitely helping us complete our project, approximately 80% of this expensive project is being completed on borrowed capital. It is not all from grant money. Because of this, we have to build out our project in the most financially smart way as possible. This includes building this out in phases. Our long term goal has not changed since we began this project back in October 2017- we plan to serve all of Marion County. It is just going to take us some time. There's no question everyone deserves this service, and we're working every day to get this service to more people. I just wanted to clear up that the grant we graciously received did not go toward any cities or areas except the rural area of the middle of Marion County nor is this project totally funded by grant money from the government. We look forward to getting in your area as soon as we possibly can, Mr. Fowler. Thank you for your questions/concerns!