Gallego Announces $30 Million to Expand Internet Access in Pima County

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WASHINGTON, DC – RealEstateRama – Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) announced $30,281,277 in grant funding from BroadBandUSA, the Department of Commerce’s digital inclusion program, to expand internet access in Pima County.

“Adequate access to broadband is not only essential for strong economic development, but for ensuring all communities in Arizona have access to the same opportunities in the digital age. Expanding connectivity in Pima County will improve lives and make sure all Arizonans have access to quality, affordable broadband, regardless of zip code,” said Rep. Gallego. “I am incredibly proud to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law once again at work for our state, and I will keep working to get Arizona the resources it needs to thrive.”

The $30,281,277 will support Pima County’s Regional Middle Mile Fiber Optic Ring. According to BroadBandUSA, the proposed project creates a 134-mile contiguous open access fiber network ring surrounding the outer area of greater Tucson and rural communities. This infrastructure reduces the cost for last mile providers to connect underserved and unserved communities.

Approximately 14% of Arizonans lack broadband access and 45% have access to only one internet provider, making broadband unaffordable. Another 13% of Arizona households lack internet subscriptions entirely.

Implemented by BroadBandUSA, the US Department of Commerce’s digital inclusion program, The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Programconnects local internet networks to strong national/regional networks. Middle mile creates dependable high-speed internet access in remote communities. By lowering high-speed internet costs in underserved areas, the program plays a vital role in closing the digital divide.

The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program is a $1 billion fund established through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. With Rep. Gallego’s support, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already at work improving Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and implementing EV bus infrastructure for Valley Metro, with billions of dollars more in project funding on the way.

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