ATMC announced Friday that it has completed a $4.5 million-dollar project to bring the company’s FOCUS fiber optic network to south Whiteville. Residents and businesses there can sign up for ATMC service to receive symmetrical broadband speeds of up to 1Gig, as well as digital cable TV, home telephone, and home security and automation services from the Brunswick County based company.
As part of the project, fiber optics were also made available to the Town of Brunswick. Other Whiteville areas are planned for the near future, according to an ATMC press release.
“This expansion has allowed us to make fiber optic service available to more than 1,500 residents and businesses in the Town of Brunswick and south Whiteville,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “While the response from those looking to take ATMC service has been tremendous, we want to make it as convenient as possible for customers to do business with us. We are currently working on a new Columbus County customer care location at the Brunswick Electric office on Highway 130 that will allow us to better serve our growing number of Columbus County customers. We anticipate this opening in late February.”
Though ATMC service is new to residents and businesses in Whiteville, ATMC has served parts of Columbus County for nearly a decade. In 2010, ATMC received a $12 million grant through the United States Department of Agriculture 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 received a $1 million-dollar grant from the NC GREAT Grant Program to bring faster internet to over 750 households in the Columbus County community of Beaverdam. In Beaverdam, ATMC will make an additional investment of up to $2 million dollars to the project to include additional areas that were not eligible for grant funding.
In early December, ATMC announced that it was awarded a $7.9 million-dollar USDA ReConnect Grant to serve over 4,000 Columbus County homes in the rural areas near Tabor City, Hallsboro, Bolton, 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. At the completion of the ReConnect project, ATMC will have completed over $40 million in rural broadband expansion in Columbus County since 2011.
ATMC is currently in the process of applying for additional grant funds to be made available through the second year of the NC GREAT Grant Program. Columbus County residents and business owners living in areas west of Whiteville are encouraged to visit www.fastercolumbus.com and take the broadband needs survey in order to help ATMC identify areas that are still in need of reliable, high-speed internet service. The application due date is in March and community support and accurate data are critical to submitting a successful application, ATMC said.
Residents and businesses located in south Whiteville can sign up for ATMC service by calling, 910-754-4311. For more information on ATMC FOCUS fiber optics, or to find out where ATMC service is already available, please visit FasterColumbus.com.