Comporium will bring faster broadband speeds to areas of Transylvania county with a $2.8 million grant from North Carolina’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program. Altogether, the improvements will require over $7 million.
The project includes the construction of 105 miles of fiber optic cable that will provide service to over 800 customers using a partnership arrangement with Haywood Electric Membership Corporation (EMC). An anticipated start date for construction is still being determined, but once it begins, Comporium expects the construction process to take approximately two years.
“Access to broadband is more important than ever, and Comporium continues to seek ways to extend its cutting-edge services to improve life in Transylvania county,” stated Shelia Carland, Director and City Executive for Comporium’s Transylvania County service area. “Comporium is committed to providing a state-of-the-art network for the communities we serve, and partnerships like this one with Haywood EMC and the State of North Carolina help us ensure that fewer people fall behind because of a technology gap.”
“Broadband is critical infrastructure for our community and it has been evident during the pandemic that we need high-speed internet access at home in order to support our education, economic development and health systems,” stated Transylvania County Manager, Jaime Laughter. “We are thankful that we have Senator Chuck Edwards and Representative Jake Johnson advocating for broadband infrastructure funding at the state level. We are also grateful that Comporium staff was willing to collaborate with the county and Land of Sky Regional Council’s Sara Nichols to put forward a successful ask in this round of GREAT grant funding. These investments in our community Comporium and the State of North Carolina will move us forward in addressing broadband needs.”
Improving and expanding its network is not a new concept for Comporium. The 126-year-old company has always focused on offering leading-edge communications to customers whom larger providers choose not to serve. Over the past few years, the company has completed multiple projects aimed at enhancing broadband services.
- Rebuild of the Coax Cable System: Completed in July of 2019, this $5.6 million project dramatically improved service and broadband options for 14,000 homes in the county.
- Migration to a New Core Network in April of 2020: This project greatly improved capacity and reliability. It represents over $11 million and 8,000 hours of investment during the past three years.
- Launch of Zipstream Over Its Coax Cable System: In August of 2020, Comporium expanded its 1 Gpbs speeds to customers across its Coax Cable network.
These projects are milestones for Comporium rather than a stopping point. The company is continually investigating ways that it can improve its existing network and reach new customers.