Lumos Launches Its 100% Fiber-Optic Internet in Orange County, NC

Lumos will be the first fiber provider for many Orange County residents as a result of one of the largest public-private partnerships in the state.

HIGH POINT, NC – Lumos celebrated the launch of its service with a ribbon-cutting at the Orange County Rural Fire Station #2 in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Lumos' network will bring reliable, high-speed internet access to previously unserved and underserved areas, empowering residents and small businesses with enhanced digital experiences.

The previously announced partnership between Lumos and Orange County remains one of the largest public-private partnerships for fiber infrastructure in North Carolina’s history. It was made possible by significant investments from Lumos and an Orange County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund award and will reach more than 6,300 unserved homes in the County. Lumos has also committed millions more to increase the scope of the project, enabling it to serve an additional 22,000 addresses.

"We are thrilled to launch our 100% fiber-optic internet service in Orange County," said Brian Stading, CEO of Lumos. "Today's launch is a stellar example of a successful public-private partnership as Lumos and Orange County have creatively collaborated to exceed the project's original scope to reach more unserved and underserved households throughout the County."

“This partnership with Lumos is a big win for Orange County and all of its residents since it helps address such an important issue,” said North Carolina State Senator Graig Meyer (SD 23). “The modern economy and society — whether you’re a farmer or a nurse, commuting for your job, getting access to telehealth, or need to do your schoolwork — demands that all of us have access to high-speed broadband. Governor Cooper and President Biden understand these needs and are delivering for North Carolina and especially our underserved rural areas.”

Lumos is working on its six-phase plan to build its network as quickly as possible, deploying nearly 1,000 miles of fiber. Approximately 400 addresses are ready for service at this time. As part of the partnership with Orange County, Lumos will also provide fiber internet service to approximately two dozen county-owned anchor institutions, including the fire station where the ribbon-cutting was held.

“This project will help ensure that Orange County residents have access to affordable, high-speed internet,” said Jamezetta Bedford, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. “The pandemic highlighted how important reliable internet service is for our children’s education, for small businesses, for public health, and for other critical needs for our residents. Improving internet access for our rural areas has long been a priority for the Board of Commissioners, our state delegation, and we are truly excited to be taking the lead in providing this critical piece of infrastructure throughout the county. We appreciate the federal ARPA funds supporting this partnership."

The Orange County Board of Commissioners’ Broadband Task Force was created in 2021 to facilitate high-speed, affordable internet access in rural areas. The Task Force, chaired by Orange County Vice Chair Earl McKee and Commissioner Sally Greene, awarded Lumos a $10 million grant from its ARPA funds to build approximately 1,000 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas. Orange County was one of the first in the state to utilize ARPA funds to provide broadband services to its community.

 

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