Arizona Broadband Office Announces Awardees for Rural Broadband Development Grants


PHOENIX, AZ (January 10, 2020) — The Arizona Commerce Authority announced today the awardees of the Arizona Rural Broadband Development Grant. The reimbursable grant will be used to accelerate the enhancement of broadband infrastructure to support economic growth and improve quality of life for Arizona’s rural residents.


The $3 million in funding was included in Governor Doug Ducey’s FY 2020 budget proposal and passed into law by the Arizona State Legislature last year. 


“These grants are a crucial investment in rural Arizona,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Access to fast, reliable internet will aid economic development, enhance educational opportunities, strengthen health care and improve public safety across rural Arizona — and we’re just getting started.”


“We are confident these projects will help bridge the connectivity gap between urban and rural communities by enhancing connectivity for rural Arizona’s citizens, businesses, healthcare facilities and schools,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Congratulations to all of the awardees. We look forward to seeing the positive impact your work has in our rural communities.”


The grant awards were allocated in two separate categories: development grants, awarded to recipients whose prospective projects are ready for construction, and planning grants, allocated for projects in the planning and development stage. Development grants are capped at $1,000,000 per project, while the maximum award for planning grants is $50,000 per project.


Development grant awardees include:


  • Sparklight, formerly known as Cable One, will provide fiber to approximately 400 business customers in Payson, Star Valley and Tonto Apache Tribe that has symmetrical service up to 2 Gbps.
  • Mohave Electric Coop will provide high-speed broadband service at speeds up to 10 Gbps symmetrical to its 35,000 members. The project will serve Bullhead City, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley.
  • Commnet Wireless will create a new fiber-optic middle mile to Page to serve 310 small businesses and 1,066 households within the area.

All projects will be completed within 2 years of the award date.


Planning grant awardees include:

  • Coconino County
  • Gila County
  • Town of Springerville
  • City of St. Johns

In order to be eligible for the grant, awardees had to be an Arizona city and town with a population of fewer than 150,000 that are not part of a larger contiguous metro area; an Arizona county with a population of fewer than 750,000; a federally-based Indian tribe located in Arizona; an established non-profit enterprises focused on economic development in Arizona; or a for-profit enterprises with a minimum of five years operating history in the telecommunications industry.


To learn more about the grant, please visit the Arizona Commerce Authority’s broadband website.


Media contact

Connie Weber, [email protected], (602) 845-1243

About the Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state's leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona's economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create - attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter @azcommerce.