WEST JEFFERSON, N.C. – SkyLine/SkyBest has been selected by Avery County Schools as a single-source provider of the school system’s Wide Area Network (WAN). With fiber construction activity now underway, this project will provide remote connections and data network access to public schools across the Avery County district.
“We have partnered with SkyLine/SkyBest for many years to provide network services to portions of Avery County Schools, and we are very happy to be able to expand that partnership to cover our entire district wide-area network,” said Dennis Brown, Executive Director of Human Resources with Avery County Schools. “The expansion of network services to our schools provides opportunity for both our schools and communities to enjoy quality high-speed Internet service.”
Dr. Dan Brigman, Superintendent of Avery County Schools, commented, “We are very excited about the future opportunities through this SkyLine/SkyBest wide area network,” he said. “This partnership will have a positive outcome on our schools and communities of Avery County for many years to come.”
SkyLine/SkyBest is constructing fiber facilities to establish network connections across the school district, and the project will be in service by July 1, 2020. It compliments efforts over the last few years by the company in cooperation with Avery County Administration to extend its fiber footprint into new underserved areas.
“We’ve been working actively with Avery County Government to research and identify possible grant opportunities at the federal and state levels that will help move this goal forward,” said SkyLine/SkyBest Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Edward Hinson.
“We have had a good working relationship with SkyLine in our discussions to bring reliable and affordable broadband access to more areas of the county,” said Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier. “They have come to the table and have been willing to talk about this issue, and we look forward to continuing that relationship with SkyLine.”
SkyLine completed a system-wide fiber overbuild across its five-county cooperative service footprint in 2016, and has since worked incrementally to bring needed fiber connectivity to new communities where its subsidiary SkyBest can now serve.
“We value the role public education plays in our community and particularly rural areas where schools with uninterrupted network access is essential to 21st century learning,” Hinson added. “We see how this project brings us one step closer toward possible future expansion of fiber services to remote communities in Avery County where there exists a profound lack of basic broadband connectivity for businesses and residents. With our co-op’s experience and proven record of success in bringing fiber assets to our SkyLine area, we are eager to make this reality for more of our neighboring communities, but funding and consumer demand will be the keys to success,” he said.
One way local residents from unserved or underserved communities can assist in this effort is to reach out to SkyLine/SkyBest if they would be interested in subscribing to fiber-based services in their communities. They are encouraged to visit www.SkyBest.com/NewFiberCommunity to register their interest.
As North Carolina’s largest telco cooperative, SkyLine Membership Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Communications, deliver advanced communications and technology solutions across an expanding network in northwest N.C., east/middle Tenn. and upstate S.C. With nearly 70 years of service to the High Country, SkyLine/SkyBest provides Gig-capable Broadband, Bundled Services (Voice/Internet/Digital TV), Business Communications, Network and Hosting Solutions, Business Phone Systems, Monitored Security and Surveillance services. Along with its tremendous investment in building a fiber-based infrastructure and national designation as a Smart Rural Community and Gig-capable broadband provider, SkyLine is committed to its member communities through numerous charitable, educational and economic development programs.