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FOCUS Broadband Awarded $2.9 Million-Dollar Community Connect Grant in Robeson County

Lumberton, NC – FOCUS Broadband, formerly ATMC, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held a ceremony in Lumberton, NC this morning announcing that the cooperative has won a $2.9 million-dollar Community Connect Grant to serve more rural areas in Robeson County. Local and state representatives, Robeson County leadership, and members of the community attended the ceremony which was held at the Barker Ten Mile Community Center.

Reginald Speight, USDA Staff Director for North Carolina, spoke at the meeting and said “ATMC continues to meet the needs of rural communities and the USDA is happy to partner with them”.

The $2.9 million dollars in Community Connect grant funds awarded by the USDA, along with an additional $450,000 in matching funds from FOCUS Broadband, will be used to serve areas in the communities of Howellsville and Tolarsville as well as areas outside the town of St. Pauls. The project will cover approximately 22.88 square miles, providing the company’s fiber optic delivered high-speed internet to as many as 1,200 unserved addresses.

“We would like to thank the USDA and their efforts to support rural broadband,” said Keith Holden, CEO and General Manager. “Rural communities are left at a disadvantage without access to high-speed internet. This grant project opens up endless opportunities for business, agriculture, and education, along with new job creation and access to telemedicine.”

This announcement is coming on the heels of FOCUS Broadband turning on service to its first customers in Robeson County. Using funds from the NC GREAT Grant project, FOCUS Broadband completed its first phases of construction in rural areas near Proctorville, Orrum, and Fairmont, bringing the company’s high-speed 1 Gigabit internet service to residents and businesses there. Once completed, this project will bring service to 2,900 residents and business in rural Robeson County.

For information on where FOCUS Broadband service is currently available in Robeson County, visit or call FOCUS Broadband at 888-367-2862.

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