High-speed internet in Alabama: State provides $82 million for ‘middle-mile’ network

Back in January, the Alabama Legislature and Gov. Kay Ivey approved a plan to spend $276 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act federal funds on the expansion of access to high-speed internet.

Today, Ivey and legislative leaders announced that $82 million of that would be used for a grant to help fund a “middle-mile” broadband network that officials said would have statewide impact.

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.

Leaders of the Republican and Democratic caucuses in the Alabama Senate and other legislators joined the governor for the announcement at 11 a.m. at Central Alabama Electric Cooperative in Prattville, one of the cooperatives that formed the new corporation. The other cooperatives are Coosa Valley, Covington, Cullman, Joe Wheeler, North Alabama, PowerSouth, and Tombigbee.

The “middle-mile” network will be the next step in an initiative Ivey and lawmakers have said is a priority for several years. Ivey said more than 300 Alabama cities and towns will benefit from the network.

“And once connected, it will give a whole lot more Alabama families the ability to opt to be customers to one of the last-mile service providers,” Ivey said. “If you’re at home or watching the news, what you care most about is being able to have working internet, plain and simple. Well folks, the middle mile, the infrastructure setting part of this journey, is exactly what’s going to get us there.”

Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville, said broadband is essential for economic development, education and health care.

“Connectivity is the great equalizer. And I truly believe it will bring our most vulnerable communities into the 21st century,” Scofield said.

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said high-speed internet can help bring hope to parts of the state that are short on jobs and resources, like electrical power did generations ago.

“Broadband is the new utility,” Singleton said. “It is the new power. It is the new water.”

Alabama’s effort to expand broadband access got a major boost when Congress approved the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a pandemic relief package that has sent billions of federal dollars to Alabama, including $2 billion for lawmakers to appropriate for state government purposes. The $276 billion for broadband comes from the state’s first $1 billion portion of ARPA funds. Legislators approved it in a special session in January. Legislators are expected to consider how to use the second $1 billion portion next year.

Last year, Ivey signed into law the Connect Alabama Act to set up a state government framework for making broadband available statewide. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the agency spearheading the effort, released the Alabama Broadband Map and the Alabama Connectivity Plan in January.

The map showed that about 13 percent of 1.65 million addresses in Alabama do not have access to broadband service as defined by

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Brunswick tech startup will get $2 million in funding to develop business enterprise

Circa, a Brunswick-centered financial technology startup, and cellular app, been given $2 million in investments to enrich its company’s development in January.

The app was intended to guide renters in paying their lease electronically and obtaining the overall flexibility to break up up rent payments though helping residence owners gather rent and earlier-thanks quantities. For illustration, on the application, renters can pay lease in two to three scheduled payments and indication up for payment reminders by e-mail or textual content.

In accordance to a report from the Joint Heart for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 10.9 million renters expended a lot more than 50 percent of their earnings on housing in 2018. The facts also showed 6 million more price tag-burdened renters in 2018 than in 2001.

Leslie Hyman Contributed

“The need for adaptable rent payments is so robust right now,” Leslie Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Circa explained. “We get hundreds or hundreds of unsolicited requests to use Circa since men and women want this ideal now. There is a actual will need for fiscal aid relating to housing in just about every condition and city, and that is what we are performing.”

Circa transitioned from Connecticut to Maine in April just after participating in the Roux Techstars Accelerator application in Portland.  They are found at 16 Station Avenue in Brunswick, following to the teach station. Techstars is a Colorado-centered company that runs an accelerator plan (a system that assists acquiring organizations get enable in mentorship, investors, and other assistance to turn into steady and self-enough companies) globally, including Northeastern University’s Roux Institute in Portland.

“I have normally seasoned Maine like quite a few folks for vacation,” Hyman said. “Now, I notice how essential Maine is from a company standpoint. I cannot explain to you how thrilled I am to be welcomed by this phenomenal organization ecosystem. There are so quite a few benefits to staying in Maine we have assistance from financial builders in the point out, our investors are here, and we can get edge of the tax credits that Maine gives.”

Hyman included: “We share place with a further Techstars organization [Omnic Data, Inc], and the go has been performing out for us so much. I am also grateful to a great group of investors dedicated to our mission, and I am also grateful as a woman founder. I am so satisfied that we are giving a product or service that folks see the value in and are excited to make investments in so we can assist so many individuals.”

Circa’s crew is composed of 6 users on their leadership team and three section-time employees customers. They are actively using the services of team for business enterprise and accounting. They are also doing the job closely with their traders to promote and use from Maine.

Hyman stated that the funds would be utilized to expand their small business. “We are developing our organization,” she explained. “The cash are to grow our sales and promoting to scale

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Lifestyle Household and NUMA Increase $60 Million and $45 Million, Respectively, to Broaden Usage of Their Lodge Technological innovation Options |

NUMA’s proprietary technological innovation stack reportedly raises gains by up to 40% for resort operators by means of automated organization processes, smart pricing, and higher occupancy costs.

By HTN Employees – 2.11.2022

The Germany-primarily based digital lodge operator and engineering developer NUMA Team, formerly regarded as COSI Team, has elevated $45 million growth money in a new funding round to additional extend its business enterprise. The firm presents disruptive layout accommodations for modern-day travelers. The funding spherical arrives two months after another vertically-built-in resort brand name, administration and application platform company, New York-centered Daily life Home, lifted $60 million in Collection C funding to carry on developing its very own cloud-centered lodge management platform.

Founded only 3 decades go, NUMA Group expenses itself as Germany’s top technologies supplier in the brief phrase rental sector. And indeed, the enterprise appears to be hugely successful, reportedly functioning far more than 2,500 units to day in important European metropolitan areas, together with Berlin, Munich, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, and Vienna.

NUMA partners with buyers, house homeowners, developers, and lodge operators to develop impressive know-how-dependent operator remedies. NUMA’s proprietary engineering stack reportedly will increase gains by up to 40% for lodge operators via automatic organization procedures, smart pricing, and better occupancy prices.

NUMA Team productively expanded into Spain, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic in 2021. According to the organization, NUMA reached 85% reserving occupancy of its 2,500 units in Europe, a stark contrast to the industry-extensive drop brought about by the pandemic.

NUMA outperformed the marketplace ordinary for common hotels by 230% of booking occupancy for the duration of the pandemic, according to benchmarking remedy Fairmas. The new strategic company unit NUMA Go, a technological know-how franchise answer for hotels, is also now performing with a significant number of lodge operators. NUMA Go is an all-in-just one engineering alternative built to noticeably minimize charges and permit resort operators to strengthen flexibly in the encounter of new industry circumstances.

The new guide investor of NUMA Team is DN Capital Team, a worldwide know-how investors that previously backed Automobile1, HomeToGo, and Shazam. The co-guide investor is Headline. Present buyers Cherry Ventures, Soravia, Kreos Capital, TruVenturo, and Scope Hanson are also taking part in the new and oversubscribed $45 million financing round.

“Our obvious goal is to build NUMA as the dominant technology and imaginative solution service provider for a entirely new era of inns in Europe,” reported Christian Gaiser, CEO, and co-founder of NUMA Group explains. “NUMA utilized the pandemic to confirm the resilience of its small business model. We achieved 500% revenue expansion and 85% scheduling occupancy even with Corona using our NUMA thought and proprietary engineering.”

“We will use the contemporary capital to offer even additional NUMA resort rooms and grow our technological lead throughout Europe promptly – we will also develop the NUMA Go business enterprise unit,” he stated.

Numa shares similarities with a variety of other startups that have positioned themselves in the market as both equally lodge

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