Arkansas Department of Commerce awards over $1M to Magazine for broadband

Special to the Express
Paris Express

Magazine, Ark.- The Arkansas Department of Commerce awarded the city of Magazine $1,025,692 from its Arkansas Rural Connect (ARC) broadband grant program. The city will work in partnership with Magazine Telephone Company and the project will deploy fiber to homes in Magazine.

“I am thankful for local companies like Magazine Telephone Company,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “They continue to invest in their community and provide solutions to local issues.”

“We continue to expand the broadband footprint across Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The ARC program is proving to be a successful imitative to connect Arkansans.”

The Arkansas Department of Commerce received $19.3M in CARES Act funds for ARC grants after an approval from the CARES Act Steering Committee and the Arkansas legislature. Grant recipients must expend the COVID-19 federal funds by December 30 of this year. Additionally, $4.7M is available in state funds for projects that would extend beyond December 30. The goal of the program is to provide high-speed broadband to rural communities.

“This is the second project funded through the ARC program in my district,” said State Senator Gary Stubblefield. “It is a great start, but we must continue working to connect rural Arkansans.”

“Getting Magazine connected with high speed broadband is a win for District 74,” said state Representative Jon Eubanks. “I’m delighted to see Magazine Telephone Company partner with the city in an effort to connect my rural district.

The department is currently evaluating applications with a focus on projects that can deploy broadband to qualified areas before December 30. For more information or to apply for an ARC grant, visit www.broadband.arkansas.gov.