• Justin Smith

Another expansion: $15 million project to provide high-speed internet in several communities across


A $7.9 million federal grant and an equal matching investment by ATMC will expand high-speed internet to approximately 4,000 residential addresses in Columbus County, the Brunswick County based co-op announced Wednesday.

Chief Michael Jacobs of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe shares remarks during an announcement Wednesday that ATMC will expand high-speed internet to Buckhead and several other Columbus County communities.

The fiber-optic network will cover around 155 square miles, including communities near Tabor City, Hallsboro, Lake Waccamaw, Bolton and areas north of Whiteville. The network will allow the delivery of internet speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second as well as cable, TV, telephone, and home security and automation services, according to ATMC.

ATMC announced Wednesday that it will construct a fiber-optic network to serve areas shown in blue. A more detailed map is available at fastercolumbus.com.

The co-op announced the grant during a ceremony Wednesday at the Waccamaw Siouan Tribal Administration Building in Buckhead.

“I can’t express how excited we at ATMC are to be a recipient of the ReConnect grant from the USDA,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “This grant has the potential to make a huge impact in Columbus County by helping us bring high speed internet to thousands of residents that have been without it for far too long.”

The network’s service area will include 4,057 households, 18 businesses, 22 farms, 15 educational facilities, three health care facilities and 10 critical care facilities, according to USDA. Construction of the fiber optic network is expected to begin in mid 2020, ATMC said.

The news comes on the heels of an announcement last week that ATMC was awarded $1 million in state grants to bring fiber optic service to the Beaverdam area. The co-op also self-funded a project to serve the Town of Brunswick and areas in south Whiteville.

Information about service availability can be found at fastercolumbus.com.

See Friday’s edition of The News Reporter and The Columbus Report newscast for additional coverage.


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