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Hobbs meets with tribal leaders to discuss broadband expansion

Arizona’s new $17.8 billion budget includes new money for rural broadband expansion. Gov. Katie Hobbs met Friday with tribal leaders to address broadband expansion in their communities.

Hobbs convened tribal leaders from all of Arizona’s 22 federally recognized tribes.

The governor said she plans to leverage federal investments for broadband expansion, including grants from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program and Digital Equity Act.

The bipartisan budget deal struck by Hobbs and GOP leaders includes $28 million for rural broadband expansion, some of which should help boost internet access on tribal lands.

That includes $5 million for a program that makes internet access more affordable at schools and libraries.

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.