12-18-2020 – Grant will fund fast internet

Posted on: December 18th, 2020 by admin

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December 18, 2020

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By Kara Fohner kfohner@newstopicnews.com

Dec 17, 2020 Updated 12 hrs ago

 

The state is providing grants for 18 projects to extend broadband infrastructure to rural areas, including one in Caldwell County, to help them gain access to high-speed internet service.

 

Blue Ridge Energy applied for a North Carolina Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology grant to help pay for infrastructure to support high-speed internet in communities near N.C. 268 from Indian Grave Road east toward Ferguson. But company officials thought the state was not going to be able to provide any grants in this cycle of application.

 

However, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday that the funding was granted after all.

 

Renee Whitener, director of public relations for Blue Ridge Energy, said that more information about Blue Ridge’s plans and its timetable may be available next week.

 

“All I can tell you is that we received notice that we were awarded the grant, and we’re very excited for what this means for members in parts of northern Caldwell County,” she said.

 

The company said in October that it would build “fiber-optic backbone infrastructure” that would affect 412 places on multiple roads, including Indian Grave Road, Buffalo Cove Road, Yadkin Lane, Laytown Road and Nubbin Creek Road, in partnership with SkyBest Communications, a telecommunications cooperative based in West Jefferson.

 

Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.

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