Moore County, NC – Randolph Communications announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the cooperative a $2.3 million dollar grant to help fund its ‘ReConnect Moore County’ project which will allow the Randolph County-based company to deploy a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network that will provide high-speed internet to approximately 1,300 residential addresses in rural Moore County. In addition to the residential addresses, this 48-mile project will also be able to serve 18 businesses, 9 educational facilities, and over 17 agricultural operations. Randolph Communications will contribute $767,000 in matching funds to bring the total project investment to over $3 million.
Making the announcement on behalf of USDA was United States Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. “The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come.”
The grant is being awarded to Randolph Communications as part of a $100 million broadband expansion project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and made available to the USDA’s ReConnect Program out of the government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. USDA received 11 Round Two ReConnect Program applications that are eligible for the $100 million Congress allocated to the program through the CARES Act.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors and the staff at Randolph Communications, we are beyond excited to be a 2020 recipient of the ReConnect grant from USDA,” stated Kim Garner, CEO & General Manager. “This grant is a game-changer for the rural citizens of northern Moore County. Through this grant, we will provide high-speed internet to those who have been desperate for too long. Mrs. Garner went on to say, “We would like to extend our gratitude to all the residents, farmers, business owners, community leaders and the elected officials who provided letters of support for our project. That support was key in helping us win this critical funding.”
Randolph Communications plans to break ground for their project in 2021. The fiber network will enable the delivery of high-speed internet speeds of up to 1Gigabit per second as well as telephone, home security and other advanced services.
“Connecting rural communities to broadband has never been more important,” stated Congressman Richard Hudson. Congressman Hudson further said, “This is an issue I have been working on for a long time. Everyone realizes today that if your household does not have access to broadband, your child is at a disadvantage, and you don’t have access to telemedicine. And, for our agriculture community, access to broadband is very critical. That’s why this announcement is so important.”
For more information about Randolph Communications, visit www.rtmc.net or call 336-879-5684.