In January 2022, The Atlantic Telephone Membership Cooperative (ATMC) will begin a multi-year, $100 million fiber broadband project that will replace copper and coaxial cable in Brunswick County, North Carolina with fiber. All cooperative members eventually will have access to ATMC’s 1 Gbps FOCUS Broadband fiber service.
The project is expected to take eight years to complete. By starting in more densely populated areas, the cooperative estimates that as many as 75% of homes and addresses can be converted to the new infrastructure during the first five years.
The cooperative provides telephone, business services, wireless, broadband, cable and security in Brunswick County. The company serves surrounding areas through a subsidiary. During the past four years, the company has made gigabit speed fiber broadband available to more than 12,000 addresses in St. James, Boiling Spring Lakes, Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach.
During the last two years, the cooperative increased broadband speeds to 600 Mbps via DOCSIS cable modem deployments. The fiber infrastructure will increase those speeds further, the company says.
“ATMC’s future is in providing our members and customers with the very best high-speed internet services possible,” said ATMC General Manager and CEO Keith Holden in a press release about the North Carolina fiber broadband project. “Because fiber optic technology has almost limitless capacity to transmit data, it can deliver speeds much faster than any other type of technology.” Holden added, “Converting our entire network to fiber optics will provide our members with unmatched capabilities well into the future.” The comments, which were in a company press release, initially were made at ATMC’s annual membership meeting.
In April, ATMC said it had completed four phases of a project in rural North Carolina. At that point, the cooperative said that gigabit speeds had been brought to the New Life Community, which is east of Tabor City. When the four-phase project is complete, broadband will be available to more than 4,000 addresses in the rural Columbus County communities of Hallsboro, Lake Waccamaw, Bolton and areas north of Tabor City and Whiteville