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A state initiative brings broadband internet to rural Utah

Governor Cox speaks into a microphone in front of a brick fireplace and graphics with information about broadband internet
Aimee Van Tatenhove
Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaks at a local restaurant in Mantua, Utah, a recipient town of Utah's rural broadband initiative.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox hosted a press conference on Thursday in Mantua, a small town in Box Elder County, announcing funding to bring broadband internet to the County’s rural areas.

The broadband initiative in Box Elder County will bring high-speed internet to over 3000 people, giving them crucial access to telehealth services, remote learning, and ecommerce. Nearly $11 million will be allocated to the project, with half coming from the American Rescue Plan, which provided federal relief money to help states recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rebecca Dilg, the director of the Utah Broadband Center said access to high-speed broadband is becoming increasingly important as we rely more on internet services in our daily lives.

“The need for broadband is growing. What we were using three to five years ago is not the same today,” Dilg said. “So, when we're looking about future proof, five years, ten years, how many more devices, how much more technology in our homes.”

Cox said we should expect the broadband rollout to happen quickly.

“Some of them have already started the construction in some parts of Box Elder. Some of them are going to take a little longer, but certainly over the next couple years, we should see these projects completed,” Cox explained.

At the press conference, Dilg announced that Utah is hosting a crowdsourced broadband project to test internet speeds across the state. She said collecting broadband speed data from Utahns will help the state understand what other areas could benefit the most from broadband upgrades.

“This will help us see where there are still areas that maybe we're not aware of. Sometimes the maps that we have are more general, or the providers might say we're covering this area, and it's not quite covering an area that maybe we think it is,” Dilg said.

More information about Utah’s Internet Speed Test campaign at

Aimee Van Tatenhove is a science reporter at UPR. She spends most of her time interviewing people doing interesting research in Utah and writing stories about wildlife, new technologies and local happenings. She is also a PhD student at Utah State University, studying white pelicans in the Great Salt Lake, so she thinks about birds a lot! She also loves fishing, skiing, baking, and gardening when she has a little free time.