Governor Spencer Cox hailed the benefits of broadband internet service at a press conference in Mantua on March 10.
MANTUA – High-speed Internet service is coming to currently isolated communities in Box Elder County and the price for this improved connectivity will be nearly $9.5 million.
On March 10, Governor Spencer Cox announced the awarding of $5.86 million from the state’s $10 million Broadband Access Grant to connect rural households in Box Elder County via a high speed fiber optic cable.
“What broadband does is turn any home into a school,” Cox explained at the press conference at Sydney’s Restaurant in Mantua. “It can turn any house into a hospital. It can turn any home into a movie theater. It can turn any home into a workplace.
The number of Box Elder County households affected by the state grant will be about 2,400, according to Ryan Starks, director of the governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity.
Communities with faster internet access will include Bear River City, Elwood, Howell, Mantua, Penrose, South Willard, Thatcher and Willard.
Cox said funding for the state’s broadband access grant was secured through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Bailout Act (ARPA) of 2021.
ARPA aims to facilitate the United States’ recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic by providing federal funds to state governments.
While many other states are using these funds to boost their economies, Cox said Utah is free to use ARPA funds for investments such as fiber optic expansion because its economy has been down. wisely managed during the pandemic.
Local funding of approximately $3.46 million will cover the remainder of the cost of broadband expansion in Box Elder County, according to County Commissioner Stan Summers.
While visiting Mantua, the governor also encouraged all Utahns to participate in the Internet Speed Test, a campaign recently launched by the Utah Broadband Center.
This campaign is a statewide initiative for residents to self-report their internet speed at home, work, or wherever they connect to the internet. This data will help identify areas of the state that are most in need of internet upgrades.
Utahans can complete the speed test by going to www.speedtest.utah.gov.
The Utah Governor‘s Office of Economic Opportunity provides resources and support for starting, growing, and recruiting businesses. It also leads to an increase in tourism, film production, outdoor recreation, and mixed martial arts in Utah.
The Utah Broadband Center advances economic opportunity, energy efficiency, telecommuting, education, and telehealth functions that rely on broadband infrastructure. It works with broadband providers; local, state, and federal policy makers; consumers; community institutions; and other stakeholders to support statewide broadband rollout