COLUMBUS COUNTY (WWAY) — Hundreds of people in will now be getting high speed internet, thanks to a special grant, and a local cable company.
Friday morning, at Baptist Church in Chadbourn, ATMC Cable held a groundbreaking ceremony.
It means a lot for residents, businesses, and schools.
735 locations will now have faster internet access, which should make life a whole lot easier.
Resident Dustin Long says, “We’ve been without in this county. This county has not had very good internet for a long time.”
Long is a 40-year resident and a chief information officer at Robeson Community College.
Like many other residents, he uses the internet daily, but says slow service has always been a hassle.
“For me I could do a lot of remote work. I can not do that with what I’m doing now, or we’ll go to an in-laws house or a family member’s house to do things for homework or our children to do whatever we need to do there,” Long expressed.
But starting with some shovels and buried fiber-optic lines, that’s all about to change.
ATMC is a non-profit cooperative that offers cable TV, high speed internet and more.
CEO Keith Holden says the company has spent a lot of time planning how they could bring quality internet access to the Beaverdam community, just south of Whiteville and Chadbourn.
“We spoke to the individuals here, and they’ve had difficulty with school assignments, with opening their businesses because of lack of internet,” Holden stated.
In June, the North Carolina Grant Program awarded ATMC more than a million dollars to build a fiber optic network.
ATMC matched that number by 35% to complete the project.
Broadband Infrastructure Director Jeff Sural says its been a process to make the project happen.
“The grant program itself, we distributed $9.9 million to 19 different companies that will bring better broadband to over 10,000 homes, businesses, farms,” Sural said.
ATMC says the Beaverdam area should have high speed internet by middle of next year.
While everyone there will appreciate it, we’re told students will benefit the most, finally being able to finish their homework at home, and on time.