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FOCUS Broadband Presents Smart Rural Community Designation to the Town of Atkinson

Atkinson, NC – FOCUS Broadband recently presented the Town of Atkinson with a sign which designates the town as a Smart Rural Community. This designation, given by The Rural Broadband Association, highlights projects across the Nation which make rural communities vibrant places to live and do business through the implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions. Atkinson is the first town in Pender County to receive this recognition.

The Town of Atkinson received this recognition because of the work FOCUS Broadband has done to install a new, state-of-the-art fiber optic network that will serve residents and businesses there. The project was made possible through a $21.6 million dollar USDA ReConnect grant which will allow FOCUS Broadband to expand high-speed internet access to over 7,000 addresses in rural Pender County. Gigabit broadband internet access will be made available to more than 7,000 residential addresses, over 285 businesses, 19 educational facilities, nine healthcare facilities, 15 critical community facilities, and 209 agricultural operations. FOCUS Broadband is contributing $7.2 million dollars in matching funds to bring the total project investment to $28.9 million. Late last year, FOCUS Broadband also won $4 million in NC GREAT Grant funding to expand fiber optic services to an additional 1,200 homes and businesses in rural Pender County.

“We are excited to have fiber optic services available in Atkinson and proud to be the first Pender County town recognized as a Smart Rural Community,” commented Mayor Pro-Tempore Gary Alsup. “We are happy to have FOCUS Broadband’s service in Atkinson and welcome them into our community.”

Four County EMC played a pivotal role in helping FOCUS Broadband bring service to the Town of Atkinson. Through the partnership, FOCUS Broadband was able to utilize a portion of Four County EMC’s fiber-optic network to make high-speed internet service available in western portions of the county more quickly.

"Providing a fiber optic network to the Town of Atkinson will have a lasting positive effect on this community and deliver a broadband connection that will give families and businesses more opportunities to connect to school, work, healthcare and entertainment," said Keith Holden, FOCUS Broadband CEO. 

FOCUS Broadband has helped bring fiber optic technology to public schools, local health care facilities, communications centers, as well as many other vital businesses and organizations in rural areas throughout southeastern North Carolina. FOCUS Broadband’s drive to provide cutting-edge technologies to communities served by the company, along with ongoing network upgrades and expansion efforts, was a major factor in the company being named a Smart Rural Community Provider by The Rural Broadband Association.

The Town of Atkinson now joins other FOCUS Broadband served towns such as the Town of Brunswick, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Fair Bluff, Belville, Orrum and Shallotte who have also been honored as Smart Rural Communities. For more information about what FOCUS Broadband is doing to increase access to broadband in Pender County, visit 


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