Marshall County state legislator seeks high-speed internet for r - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Marshall County state legislator seeks high-speed internet for rural AL

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

A Marshall County state senator is introducing a bill in the Legislature designed to help get high-speed internet access to rural Alabama.

Many people in the city enjoy access to high-speed internet. That's not the case in rural Alabama, but Sen. Clay Scofield believes it's a need just like power and water.

Broadband fiber connections are hard to find in rural areas. Scofield hopes that will be rectified soon.

Scofield knows cost is the biggest hurdle for companies to service sparsely populated areas. Scofield says, for example, he can be in town to do his work but can't take his work home to rural Marshall County.

The bill he's introduced provides tax abatements, such as sales and use as well as ad valorem taxes to companies that provide rural internet service.

So far, Scofield says companies are on board with the idea.

"That infrastructure is already there. We don't need the government to ramp up and get involved in providing this service which is probably going to cost more.  We can incentivize private companies to do it and do it better," he said.

Scofield hopes the bill will get out of committee and be voted on sometime next week.

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