Raleigh, NC – In October, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that AccessOn Networks is the recipient of a $17.5 million-dollar USDA ReConnect Grant to serve more than 2,500 underserved homes and businesses in rural Halifax and Warren counties. AccessOn Networks is a provider of advanced fiber-based communication services and is owned by six of CarolinaLink’s cooperative members, FOCUS Broadband, Randolph Communications, SkyLine/SkyBest, Star Communications, Surry Communications and Zirrus.
“AccessOn Networks is thankful for the opportunity to receive this funding from the USDA,” said Steve Ledford, AccessOn Networks CEO. “This grant will allow us to help residents and businesses in Warren and Halifax counties that desperately need access to reliable high-speed internet.”
The ReConnect grant funds awarded by the USDA will be used to bring fiber optic, high-speed internet to rural, underserved communities in southern Warren County and the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal area in Warren and Halifax counties. The new network will enable the delivery of high-speed internet of up to 1 Gigabit per second as well as voice solutions.
“AccessOn’s grant from the USDA will further CarolinaLink’s mission in bridging the digital divide in rural North Carolina,” commented Kim Garner, Board President for CarolinaLink and CEO of Randolph Communications. “Our cooperative members are excited to help AccessOn Networks bring this project to life and serve more rural areas in the state.”
CarolinaLink members serve over 150,000 rural homes and businesses in North Carolina and are committed to expanding broadband service to unserved and underserved communities throughout the state. CarolinaLink members serve residents and businesses in thirty counties throughout the state and employee more than 1,000 North Carolinians. This ReConnect grant will enable AccessOn Networks to bring their advanced network to an area of the state where these capabilities, speed and reliability have not previously been available.