Raleigh, NC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Star Communications was a recipient of a $24.9 million ReConnect Grant to bring fiber optic delivered high-speed internet to rural communities in Bladen, Columbus and Sampson counties. Once completed, the project will bring internet service to 2,674 people, 84 businesses, 117 farms and four educational facilities between the three counties.
“Star Communications is very grateful to once again be the recipient of a ReConnect Grant. We are thankful for the USDA and their ongoing efforts to expand access to high-speed internet in rural areas. Without this program and their assistance, we could not have accelerated our buildout efforts in the way that we have over the past few years,” said Star Communications CEO, Donna Bullard. “This award is a crowning achievement for Sampson, Bladen, and Columbus counties.”
Since 2019, Star Communications has secured over $51 million from three federal grants through the USDA’s ReConnect Broadband and Community Connect Programs and over $8 million from state funding through the North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Grant program. Altogether, the grants will allow Star Communications to serve approximately 16,000 households in Bladen, Columbus and Sampson counties.
The $24.9 million ReConnect Grant was part of the USDA’s larger announcement of nearly $700 million in ReConnect Program funding to connect thousands of residents and businesses in the most rural, remote and unserved communities with reliable internet service.
“Keeping the people of rural America connected with reliable, high-speed internet brings new and innovative ideas to the rest of our country and creates good-paying jobs along the way,” said USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are connecting rural communities to a global marketplace. These investments will support economic growth and prosperity for generations to come.”
For more information about Star Communications, visit www.starcom.net.
About Star Communications
Star Communications, the area’s leading communications company headquartered in Clinton NC, was founded in 1959 as Star Telephone Membership Corporation. It provides voice, video, Internet, security, hosted cloud solutions, and surveillance services across southeastern North Carolina. For more information, call (800) 706-6538, or visit www.starcom.net.