ATMC Awarded $1.2 Million to Serve Rural Areas in Duplin County
Raleigh, NC – Governor Roy Cooper recently announced that ATMC was one of 5 recipients to receive additional GREAT Grant funding made available by the COVID-19 Recovery Act to build broadband internet services into unserved areas of rural North Carolina. Recognizing the increased importance of broadband expansion in light of the pandemic, the COVID-19 Recovery Act allocated supplemental funding for eligible projects not initially funded through the 2020 NC GREAT Grant program. ATMC was awarded $1.2 million dollars that will be used to expand high-speed internet service to serve more than 400 homes in communities west of Magnolia, Rose Hill and Teachey in rural Duplin County. ATMC will provide an additional $1,230,916.85 dollars in matching funds to complete these projects.
“ATMC is grateful to receive funding through the NC GREAT Grant Program and COVID-19 Recovery Act,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “This grant will make it possible for us to serve residents and businesses in Duplin County who are in desperate need of reliable internet. We would like to thank the residents, farmers, business owners and community leaders who provided letters of support for this project. High-speed internet is critical for rural North Carolinians and ATMC plans to continue to work toward bringing better internet to these areas.”
The news follows Governor Cooper’s announcement last month that $12 million dollars would be granted through the NC GREAT Grant Program to expand rural internet access to more than 8,000 homes. In the first announcement, ATMC was awarded $2.5 million in GREAT Grant funding to serve rural areas in Robeson and Columbus Counties. With the addition of these grants, a total of more than $16 million has been awarded this year to expand access in 11 Tier 1 counties across the state through the GREAT grant program and the supplemental funding.“It’s critical that we get more North Carolinians connected to high-speed internet, especially during this pandemic. These projects will help them access work, education and healthcare within and beyond their communities," said Governor Cooper in a news release.
While this will be the first time ATMC has served residents and businesses in Duplin County, the cooperative has been serving rural North Carolinians for more than 65 years. ATMC has a successful track record of using grant funds to provide high speed internet to rural areas. In 2010, ATMC received $16 million dollars through a USDA grant to build a fiber optic network to the unserved communities of Nakina, Guideway and Old Dock in Columbus County. In May of 2019, ATMC was awarded $1 million-dollars in grant funding in round one of the NC GREAT Grant program which has allowed the company to build fiber optic service to underserved homes in the Beaverdam community in Columbus County. Last December, ATMC won a $7.9 million dollar grant from the USDA ReConnect Grant program to serve Columbus County residents near Tabor City, Hallsboro, Lake Waccamaw, Bolton and areas north of Whiteville.
ATMC is still awaiting details as to when the 2020 grant funds will be made available to begin work on the GREAT Grant projects. Once those funds are released, the goal will be to complete the projects with 12-18 months. To stay up to date on construction of these grant projects, please visit www.fasterduplin.com or call 910-754-4311.