November 2022 Spotlight

Alabama Living Magazine

Alabama will devote $82 million to improved broadband

Gov. Kay Ivey and legislative leaders gathered at Central Alabama EC recently to announce that the state would provide $82 million for a “middle mile” broadband network. Fiber Utility Network, a corporation formed by eight rural electric cooperatives, will create the network to connect more than 3,000 miles of new and existing fiber infrastructure over the next three years, officials said.
When complete, the network will provide improved access to unserved areas for the “last mile” project that provides actual broadband availability.
In addition to Central Alabama EC, the electric co-ops in the Fiber Utility Network are Coosa Valley EC, Covington EC, Cullman EC, Joe Wheeler EMC, North Alabama EC, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and Tombigbee EC.

Alabama co-ops send help to victims of Hurricane Ian

A crew from Wiregrass EC works to restore power to members of a Florida cooperative in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian made landfall on the west Florida coast Sept. 28 as a high-end Category 4 hurricane, with a record storm surge, 155 mph winds and torrential rains that caused massive flooding.

Affected co-ops received help from thousands of mutual aid workers from eight states after the storm to help restore power to members who could receive it. Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives sent help to Peace River EC, based in Wauchula, and Lee County EC, based in Fort Myers. That co-op had 99% of its 219,000 meters without power within hours of landfall. 

“Alabama cooperatives’ response to the Hurricane Ian mutual aid request was strong as expected,” says Jeff Whatley, safety specialist with the Alabama Rural Electric Association, which publishes Alabama Living. “The linemen experienced damage that was typical for after a hurricane, but Ian added an additional level of difficulty due to flooding in the areas where they were working. No matter what they encountered, our linemen did what they always do and overcame the obstacles to assist those in need.”

All co-op crews returned safely to their Alabama home co-ops by Oct. 18.

Whereville, Alabama

Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative, if applicable. The winner and answer will be announced in the December issue.

Submit by email:, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.

Do you like finding interesting or unusual landmarks? Contribute a photo you took for an upcoming issue! Remember, all readers whose photos are chosen also win $25!

October’s answer: These bronze shoes are a part of the statue of William Shakespeare that’s housed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival building in Montgomery. A spokeswoman for ASF says that Wynton Blount commissioned the replica when the Carolyn Blount Theater, home to ASF, opened in Montgomery in 1985. (Photo by Lenore Vickrey of Alabama Living) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Brian J. Rogers of Dixie EC.


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