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ATMC's $100M Project To Bring Faster Internet

By Johanna Cano, posted Oct 12, 2021
ATMC’s new multi-year, $100 million project will bring faster internet to all its members in Brunswick County, according to a press release.

The communications cooperative will replace all its copper and coaxial cable network within its service area with a new 100% fiber optic network.

At the conclusion of the project, every cooperative member will have access to the company’s FOCUS Broadband fiber optic service with internet speeds up to one Gigabit, the release stated.

Fiber optic cables deliver data through light, allowing it to transmit large amounts of information and to have more bandwidth compared to coaxial cable.

“ATMC’s future is in providing our members and customers with the very best high-speed internet services possible. Because fiber optic technology has almost limitless capacity to transmit data, it can deliver speeds much faster than any other type of technology,” Keith Holden, ATMC CEO and general manager, said in the release. “Converting our entire network to fiber optics will provide our members with unmatched capabilities well into the future.”

The project is slated to start in January and is expected to take up to eight years to complete. ATMC plans on beginning construction in the most densely populated communities first, with the goal of converting 75% of homes and businesses to the new network within the first 60 months.

This is not the first fiber optic project for ATMC. The company has been working on making fiber optic broadband available to more than 12,000 addresses in St. James, Boiling Spring Lakes, Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach over the past four years.

The company has also been undergoing efforts to bring high-speed internet access to rural areas. ATMC received a $21.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (contributing $7.2 million to a total of $28.9 million) to expand high-speed internet access to more than 7,000 addresses in rural Pender County as part of its “Faster Pender” project.

ATMC is a nonprofit member-owned coop with headquarters in Shallotte. The company recently doubled download speeds for customers by increasing the maximum broadband speed delivered via its DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) cable modem technology, according to the release.

“This new network will be able to accommodate our members’ growing need for bandwidth-reliant applications, including video streaming, work from home, remote classroom, telehealth, gaming and more,” Holden said of the $100 million fiber optic project. “This project will enable ATMC to be well-positioned to take advantage of the incredible growth Brunswick County will experience over the next 10, 20 and 30 years.”
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