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State's broadband director provides update on state's efforts to expand broadband

Glen Howie will be responsible for helping Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston expand broadband access in the state.
Glen Howie Twitter page
Glen Howie is responsible for helping the state expand broadband. He has been in the position of the state's broadband director since 2022.

In a recent report ranking the broadband connectivity of the states, Arkansas ranked 49th. In an interview with Arkansas PBS, Glen Howie, the state’s broadband director, said the report does not reflect the progress the state has made.

“When you look at the remaining locations of 115,000 homes and businesses across the state that lack quality internet, you compare that to our geographic neighbors in the region and we’re ahead of them,” he said.

Howie said the state’s proactive approach to improving broadband access will help the state move forward. He said the state has already provided $550 million to communities to improve their internet. According to the Arkansas Department of Commerce, Arkansas is expected to receive about $1 billion in federal funding for broadband from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed by Congress in 2021.

Howie became the state’s broadband director in 2022. Prior to coming to Arkansas, Howie worked a similar position for Louisiana.

Ronak Patel is a reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.