Lancaster County Board Commits $10 Million to Expanding Access to Broadband in Rural Lancaster County

Lincoln, NE – (January 13, 2022) – The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners today committed $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the development of broadband infrastructure in rural Lancaster County.  ARPA provides a substantial infusion of resources into Lancaster County to meet pandemic response needs, including expanding and improving access to fiber-based broadband throughout the County.

This funding, part of $61.5 million in total ARPA funding Lancaster County is receiving, will be utilized to install approximately 170 miles of conduit in County right of way stretching between cities, villages, unincorporated communities, and schools throughout rural Lancaster County.  In turn, private sector broadband providers will install fiber in the conduit and provide residential and commercial fiber-based broadband services.

Chair Deb Schorr stated, “The pandemic has highlighted the divide in access to broadband services between the City of Lincoln and rural Lancaster County.  We are pleased that ARPA funds can be used to deliver these essential services to households and businesses across the County.”

The Lancaster County broadband project will operate through a collaboration with the City of Lincoln Information Services Department.  Chief Information Officer David Young stated, “The unanimous action taken by the County Board today will lead Lancaster County into the 21st Century.  The goal of this project is to ensure that citizens from Davey to Firth have the same access to fiber-based broadband as the citizens in Lincoln enjoy today.”

Construction of the Lancaster County broadband project is tentatively set to begin in April of 2022, with a projected completion date in June of 2023.