Bauxite, Sardis, Chicot and East End residents in Saline County may remember being left out of the areas benefiting from a recent $3 million grant for broadband internet improvements. Now is your chance to change that.
Saline County Judge Jeff Arey announced the opportunity to apply for an additional grant through the Arkansas Rural Connect (ARC) program to improve broadband connectivity to those areas and the surrounding areas.
“To qualify for a grant, we have to show that the area is either unserved—meaning broadband with 25 meg down and 3 megs up is not available—OR that even if the service is available at that speed, it isn’t available 95% of the time,” stated Arey. “Although some of these areas currently show as 100% served on the State’s official coverage map, we know that certain areas of these community have less than adequate speeds.”
The county can qualify for a grant if even only 20% of the community does not have sufficient broadband. It’s important to share with the state government which areas are not currently served with broadband.
The state has set up a speed test that allows them to analyze whether coverage is available in a given area. If you are in an area with substandard broadband, or if your ISP is not giving you the speeds they promise, click on the below link to share your speed data:
“An ARC grant costs our communities nothing and will bring in another broadband provider to serve our residents,” said Arey. “Getting one would be a big win for our community.”