In 2020, ATMC was awarded $2,538,297 dollars in two grants from the NC GREAT Grant program to build a fiber optic broadband network in the Columbus County communities of Fair Bluff and Boardman and the Robeson County communities of Orrum and Proctorville. These grants will provide affordable broadband internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit to 2,183 households in these communities. ATMC is contributing an additional $888,403 in matching funds for these projects. As part of the 2020 NC GREAT Grant program and additional funding through the COVID-19 Recovery Act, ATMC was also awarded $1,230,916 to build their fiber optic network to 432 households in rural Duplin County. ATMC will match this grant dollar for dollar.
This Rural Development investment provided Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC) the opportunity to use $1,099,996 in NC GREAT Grant Program funding to build a gigabit-capable passive optical network (GPON) fiber-to-the-home network to serve over 1,400 homes in rural Columbus County. ATMC contributed $543,844 in matching funds for the project which will include 735 funded households and 20 businesses. In addition, ATMC will self-fund additional construction to provide access to another 700 households for areas adjacent to the grant area. ATMC completed the project in July of 2020.
With this investment, Star Telephone Membership Corporation utilized $856,932 in NC GREAT Grant Program grant funding to build a gigabit-capable passive optical network (GPON) past 378 homes and 10 businesses in rural Bladen County. Star Telephone contributed $856,932 in matching funds for the project. Star Telephone completed the project in August of 2020.