Two eastern Arkansas towns are developing their internet infrastructure through the Arkansas Rural Connect (ARC) Broadband Grant Program.
Augusta and Stuttgart are the latest municipalities to receive funding through this state program. Both cities are retaining Ritter Communications, the Jonesboro-based broadband provider, to establish the Fiber-to-the-Home infrastructure to increase high-speed internet access.
Through the ARC Broadband Grant Program, Augusta is receiving a $2.3 million grant, while Stuttgart has received a $6.1 million grant.
“Ritter Communications believes all Arkansans should have access to high-speed broadband internet services, and we commend Governor Hutchinson and his administration for prioritizing a solution to bridging the digital divide in Arkansas,” Ritter Communications CEO Alan Morse said in a statement. “Ritter Communications is honored to have been chosen as a partner to bring the latest fiber services to rural Arkansas, keeping residents connected to the technology they need to fulfill their learning, health, work and entertainment needs.”
Ritter will be using its latest residential fiber service, RightFiber, to provide internet, phone and video services.
Funding for the ARC program comes through CARES Act funding, which was approved by the state CARES Act Steering Committee and the Arkansas General Assembly. Fairfield Bay was the first Arkansas town to receive an ARC grant, with a $1.5 million grant.