ATMC Fiber Optic Service Makes the Town of Fair Bluff A Smart Rural Community
Fair Bluff, NC – ATMC recently presented the Town of Fair Bluff with a Smart Rural Community sign to display in their town. The Smart Rural Community designation, given by the NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, highlights member projects which make rural communities vibrant places to live and do business through the implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions.
The Town of Fair Bluff received this recognition because of the work ATMC has done to install a new, state-of-the-art fiber optic network that will serve residents and businesses in Fair Bluff. The project was made possible through a $1.1 million-dollar NC GREAT Grant along with an additional $1 million-dollar investment from ATMC which will allow the company to serve residents and businesses in and around Fair Bluff.
“We are excited to have fiber optic services available in Fair Bluff and proud to receive this recognition as a Smart Rural Community,” said Mayor Billy Hammond. “We look forward to ATMC serving this area and having them as a part of our Fair Bluff community.”
Over the years, ATMC has helped bring fiber optic technology to public schools, local health care facilities, communications centers, as well as many other vital businesses and organizations. ATMC’s drive to provide cutting-edge technologies to communities served by the cooperative, along with ongoing network upgrades and expansion efforts, was a major factor in the company being named a Smart Rural Community Provider by The Rural Broadband Association.
“Providing a fiber optic network to the Town of Fair Bluff will have a lasting positive effect on this community and deliver a broadband connection that will be more attractive for companies looking to relocate to the area,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “Fair Bluff has worked hard to rebuild and restore the town after devastation caused by hurricanes. We believe this investment in a fiber optic network will bring incredible value to the businesses and residents here.”
ATMC has worked to bring high-speed internet to Columbus County residents and businesses for more than a decade. In 2010, ATMC received a $12 million grant through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bring high speed internet to over 2,600 residents and businesses in Nakina and Old Dock. Last July, the company announced the completion of a project made possible through a $1 million grant won in the 2019 NC GREAT Grant Program which made high-speed internet available to 1,200 households in the Beaverdam community. ATMC also received a $7.9 million dollar grant in 2019 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Broadband Program which will allow the company to serve more than 4,000 homes in rural areas near Tabor City, Hallsboro, Lake Waccamaw, Bolton, and areas north of Whiteville. Construction on the ReConnect project is underway, and service is now available in areas outside of Tabor City and areas near Hallsboro will soon have service. Upon completion of these projects, ATMC will have invested more than $40 million in broadband projects that will improve and expand high-speed internet service in Columbus County.
The Town of Fair Bluff now joins other area towns such as the Town of Brunswick, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Belville and Shallotte who have also been honored as Smart Rural Communities. For more information about what ATMC is doing to increase access to broadband in Columbus County, visit fastercolumbus.com.