ATMC Completes NC GREAT Grant Project in Beaverdam
Columbus County, NC - ATMC announced today that it has completed its ‘Faster Columbus’ NC GREAT Grant project. With the completion of this project, households and businesses in the Beaverdam community between Whiteville and Tabor City now have access to high speed internet with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit as well as digital cable TV, home telephone, and home security and automation services.
The ‘Faster Columbus’ project was made possible through a $1 million grant from the NC GREAT Grant program awarded to ATMC in May of 2019. The NC GREAT Grant program was established by NC Governor Roy Cooper and the NC General Assembly and was administered by and the NC Department of Information Technology (NCDIT). ATMC was required to make a matching $550,000 investment for the grant and contributed an additional $1.5 million to expand the project to reach additional homes and businesses outside the grant area. The project has the potential to serve approximately 1,200 addresses in Beaverdam, with over 400 of those addresses being self-funded by the cooperative. More than 300 households have already been connected to the faster service.
“ATMC is excited to have completed this project to make fiber optic high speed internet service available to residents and businesses in the Beaverdam community,” said Keith Holden, ATMC’s CEO and General Manager, “We are grateful to the NCDIT, the North Carolina General Assembly, Representative Brenden Jones, and Governor Roy Cooper’s office for making these grant funds available. We know having access to high speed internet will have an incredible impact on this community and we are looking to bringing better internet to even more communities in Columbus County in the coming weeks and months.”
ATMC was also awarded a $7.9 million dollar USDA ReConnect Grant to serve over 4,000 Columbus County homes in rural areas near Tabor City, Hallsboro, Bolton, Buckhead, Lake Waccamaw, and areas north of Whiteville. ATMC will match the USDA grant dollar-for-dollar for a total investment of $15.8 million dollars. Construction for the ReConnect project is expected to begin in August. In addition, ATMC applied for grant funds through the 2020 NC GREAT Grant Program earlier this year. The cooperative expects to hear from the NCDIT about the grant in the coming weeks. If awarded, the grant will allow the cooperative to serve additional unserved areas in western Columbus County.
Though ATMC service is new to residents and businesses in Beaverdam, ATMC has served parts of Columbus County for nearly a decade. In 2010, ATMC received a $12 million-dollar grant through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to build a fiber optic network to over 2,000 residents and businesses in the Columbus County communities of Nakina and Old Dock. Earlier this year, ATMC built fiber optic services into the southern half of Whiteville and opened a customer experience store behind the Brunswick Electric location on Highway 130 to better serve the cooperative’s growing customer base in Columbus County.
Beaverdam residents and businesses can sign up for ATMC service by calling, 910-754-4311. For more information on ATMC FOCUS fiber optics, or to find out when service will be available in additional areas of Columbus County, please visit www.FasterColumbus.com.