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$99 Million coming to Arizona for internet expansion

FOX 9's Adam Klepp spoke to Senator Kyrsten Sinema about how some of this money is set aside specifically for counties like Yuma

YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - $99 million in federal money is coming to Arizona for high-speed internet projects in the state.

Some of the money approved today is specifically set aside for counties like Yuma.

“Communities that have been long overlooked and underserved by the federal government have the opportunity to receive their fair share,” Sinema said.

With the money now approved, county lawmakers can make grant proposals to start new broadband projects, or further ongoing ones.

Sinema says the COVID pandemic showed how essential reliable, and affordable internet access is.

Some of the federal money will also go to subsidize private companies, encouraging them to expand their internet services.

“We’re saying even if it’s not profitable, the federal government believes it’s so important for Americans to have access to this,” Sinema said.

Over on the farm, Matt McGuire from JV Smith Company says he deals with broadband issues daily.

“I can go down 1st street here, and I can't stream videos. It dies. We have fields in Tacna, you go out there, and we can't even run a computer,” McGuire said.

Outside of basic functions, McGuire adds expansion is essential for implementing tech in the field.

The "LaserWeeder"

As drones, laser weeders, and other ag tech all need dependable internet access to function.

“Without broadband all that technology is useless and we don’t grow a crop as good as we could. The potential is lost,” McGuire said.

Arizona has also submitted plans for the rest of its Capital Improvement Funds, those applications are currently under treasury review.

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Adam Klepp

Adam Klepp is excited to start his first job in the broadcast news industry as the FOX9 at 9 anchor and as a reporter at 5 and 6 on News 11.


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