WFSB's Susan Raff Reports on How Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Will Help Rural CT

November 17, 2021

Connecticut's infrastructure bill gives hope to rural towns who need new internet

States are anxiously waiting for funding to come in after the infrastructure bill was passed. Connecticut is supposed to get 6 billion in funding, the majority of which will be spent on transportation. However, some of that money will go to help improve the internet in rural areas.

Internet has become increasingly more important, especially as people move to more rural areas and are working from home.

“Connecticut is scheduled to get a minimum of 100 million for internet and that’s exciting out here because there are parts of the state, and particularly rural northeastern Connecticut, that just have no connectivity or have very old technology,” says Representative Pat Boyd of Woodstock.

In rural areas like Woodstock, there is a need for more cell towers and better infrastructure. Some of this better infrastructure includes better designs. “[The infrastructure bill] could help design to do it so it’s not in your face, but the service is there without being obnoxious,” Jay Swan first selectmen of Woodstock says.

A good signal is also important for emergency services.

“A lot of fire departments and emergency management, we are switching over now, a lot of it is online based. When we are trying to upload for road closures and working with Eversource so having that connectivity is important,” says David Eliott Woodstock Fire Chief.

Real estate has been impacted by lack of service as well. When people decide to move to rural towns, they want to know about the internet service there.

“The number one thing right now because of the pandemic is do we have good internet source, is it strong enough because a lot of people have home offices, their kids are zooming into schools. So many things we need here are lacking,” says Mary Collins a realter at Berkshire Hathaway.

Small towns are encouraged by this news and are hoping to attract new businesses and residents. However, this is a big project, and it might be five years before this project really takes off.

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