The Arkansas Legislative Council has awarded Ritter Communications, among the largest privately held telecommunications service providers in the mid-south U.S. region, with eight new rural broadband installation grants totaling approximately $44 million.
These resources, made available through the Arkansas Rural Connect (ARC) program and funded by the American Rescue Plan, will help to finance projects that improve high-speed broadband internet access for more Arkansans.
The addition of these eight grants to previously awarded grants brings the total amount awarded to Ritter Communications to $67 million to date.
The eight new ARC grant areas in Arkansas awarded to Ritter Communications are as follows:
- Cross County Crowley’s Ridge - $3,180,100
- Cross County West - $4,257,650
- Jefferson County Northeast - $4,263,828
- Jefferson County Northwest - $11,305,061
- Pope Appleton/Hector/Scottsville - $5,665,012
- Pope Southwest - $7,053,243
- St. Francis County North Central - $4,311,437
- St. Francis County Northwest - $3,296,875
Ritter said it will contribute additional funding alongside these state-funded grants to ensure ubiquitous network coverage and to fund final connections to customers’ homes and businesses. The operator notes it works with community leaders on all fiber expansion projects to provide access to the 100% fiber-based broadband internet and telecom services offered by the company.
"Ritter Communications has become a trusted leader in getting and keeping Arkansans connected to each other and to essential services,” said Ritter Communications CEO Alan Morse.
Morse continued, “We were pleased to partner with local Arkansas communities to jointly apply for these grants, and we appreciate the confidence the State of Arkansas has placed in us to bring these projects to fruition,” he said. “We are eager to help these communities and the State bridge the digital divide and bring state-of-the-art broadband services to business and residents there.”
The RightFiber connection
Ritter Communications is a regional telecommunications provider, headquartered in Jonesboro, Arkansas and serving over 100 communities in the region across four states with a full range of communications services. A company statement revealed that previously announced expansion projects across Arkansas are underway, with some nearing completion, bringing more communities access to Ritter’s RightFiber suite of services with symmetrical one gigabit speed.
The company said it is building its growing infrastructure network to sustain anticipated market growth and bandwidth demand.
“As bandwidth requirements and devices become more advanced and can support 10G FTTH speeds, we have built our network with that future in mind so when the time comes we are capable of providing 10G speed directly to [the] home,” said Jeff Chapman, RightFiber GM.
Residents interested in RightFiber services can visit RightFiber.com to submit a form expressing interest in the service. As the company continues its expansion planning, Ritter Communications noted it is "constantly evaluating existing service areas to determine additional neighborhood builds based on network proximity, housing density and customer demand."