ATMC continues its expansion of high-speed internet in Columbus County, announcing Tuesday that the service is now available in the New Life community east of Tabor City. In addition to internet with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit, residents there can also purchase telephone service, digital cable TV, home security and automation services from ATMC. The Tabor City area expansion is the latest phase of ATMC’s “Faster Columbus” project, partially funded by a $7.9 million dollar grant awarded in December of 2019 through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ReConnect Broadband Program. As part of the project, ATMC is contributing an additional $7.9 million dollars in matching funds for a total project cost of $15.8 million. Upon completion of the project, ATMC will be able to provide high-speed internet service to more than 4,000 addresses in the rural Columbus County communities of Hallsboro, Lake Waccamaw and Bolton and in areas north of Tabor City and Whiteville. Construction is currently underway in the Hallsboro area with additional areas starting in the coming weeks. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. “This USDA ReConnect Grant project is allowing us to expand our network to bring Columbus County’s fastest internet service to more people who desperately need it,” said Keith Holden, ATMC’s CEO and general manager. “Our commitment to serving Columbus County is real, and we can’t wait to show more people why our FOCUS fiber optics is Columbus County’s best internet service.” Decade in Columbus ATMC has served residents and businesses in Columbus County for more than a decade. In 2010, ATMC received a $12 million grant through the 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. And in the last few weeks, ATMC announced that service was being made available to businesses and residents in Fair Bluff. In December, ATMC won additional grant funding through a supplementary round of the NC GREAT grant program, which will allow the expansion of high-speed internet service into the Boardman and Cerro Gordo communities, areas along Smyrna Road near Whiteville, and additional areas near East Arcadia, Riegelwood, Northwest and Sandy Creek. Upon completion of these projects, since 2011, ATMC will have invested more than $40 million in broadband projects that will improve and expand high-speed internet service in Columbus County. Tabor City is the first area to have service available as part of ATMC’s USDA ReConnect project. As construction in these additional phases is completed, service will be made available. More information about ATMC’s progress to bring high-speed internet to Columbus County is available at www.fastercolumbus.com. Residents and businesses located in the first phases of Tabor City can sign up for services from ATMC service by calling 910-754-4311.