Montgomery, AL. – During the Alabama House floor debate on broadband expansion, Rep. Ralph Howard (D-Greensboro) expressed his support for the bipartisan effort to ensure high-speed internet connectivity throughout the state, particularly in unserved communities. SB123, sponsored by Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) was passed by both chambers and added key provisions to bolster the Connect Alabama Act, which was signed into law in 2021.
Rep. Howard expressed that it was time for less talk and more action, in terms of expanding broadband internet access in Alabama, saying, “We have the technology to do this now.” He further pointed out that, “If a student can’t access the internet to do his lessons, it’s not acceptable.”
Rep. Howard also commented on the disparity between urban and rural broadband access, noting that in the past urban areas were given priority in upgrading internet services. “Nothing was done for rural areas”, according to Howard, and he observed, “If we can watch a 40 mile convoy in Ukraine headed to Kiev, we can get rural broadband to our students.”
Rep. Howard noted that the state of Alabama works hard to ensure that law enforcement has all the tools they need to do their jobs and remarked, “We should make sure our kids have all the tools they need, too.”