The Great Broadband Build: Kinetic to Bring Fiber Broadband to 3 Georgia Counties; Comporium and York Electric Complete Fiber Expansion

In this issue of The Great Broadband Build, we're tracking Kinetic bringing fiber broadband to three Georgia counites and Comporium and York Electric completing their fiber expansion.

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Service providers are rapidly building broadband in communities nationwide via fiber, existing coax, and wireless. The Great Broadband Build is a weekly roundup of the latest broadband network deployments.

You can send news directly to Sean Buckley, Editor in Chief of Broadband Communities, at Stay abreast of each installment of The Great Broadband Build here.


Kinetic Secures $8.5M to Bring Fiber Broadband to Three Georgia Counties
Kinetic was awarded $8.5 million to expand fiber broadband access in three more Georgia counties. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently announced a second round of the state's Capital Projects Fund Grant Program. In addition to the grant money from the state, Kinetic will contribute $11.2 million to the projects, bringing the total capital investment for 2,100 locations in these communities to $19.7 million.

Communities covered in this round of grants:

  • Calhoun - 1,425 locations
  • Echols - 420 locations
  • Webster - 299 locations

Kinetic has taken an active role in working with the governor to extend fiber broadband to underserved communities. Earlier this year, in the first round of funding from the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program, Kinetic was awarded $35 million in grants to build out fiber to more than 4,500 homes and businesses in Clay, Clinch, Randolph and Schley counties. In 2021, Kemp and members of the Broadband Infrastructure Committee announced that $171 million in grants from American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to 18 counties in partnership with Kinetic to bring fiber to those communities. Planning and engineering are underway for the new projects, and residents can expect to see crews working in these areas soon, with a completion date by the end of 2026, the grant deadline.

Comporium and York Electric Cooperative Wrap Fiber Project
After about 26 months of construction, Comporium and York Electric Cooperative (YEC) have completed their joint fiber expansion project in two Upstate South Carolina counties. Comporium and York Electric Cooperative signed a partnership agreement in December 2020. At the time, demand for high-speed internet service was at an all-time high due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents in the most rural areas of York and Cherokee counties needed access to broadband service, hindering their ability to work and learn from home while businesses and schools were closed. The initial construction phase began in early 2021, with the first YEC member connecting to the partnership’s fiber network in July 2021. Phase one of the buildout was completed in October 2022 and introduced broadband access to more than 2,100 YEC members in northwestern York County. The expansion continued with Phase 2, which was completed in February 2023. This part of the project delivered 1Gbps access to 1,900 co-op members. Meeting the third and final phase means that nearly 5,000 homes can now use fiber-based internet service thanks to this project. The total investment in these communities is estimated at $16 million.

MCNC Receives $11.2M to Expand its North Carolina HERO Project
MCNC has secured $11.2 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for the High-speed Economies for Rural Opportunity, or HERO Project. Funded through the federal "Internet for All" initiative, the HERO Project will directly support broadband access and affordability improvements in central and southeastern North Carolina. The total HERO Project is estimated at approximately $19 million. No state tax dollars will be used for this expansion. MCNC applied for Internet for All funding in September 2022 to extend its North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) network by 209 fiber miles via two strategic routes. Those routes include Albemarle to Winston-Salem (74 miles) in central North Carolina and between Sanford via Fayetteville to Jacksonville (135 miles) in southeastern North Carolina. The 11 counties to benefit from this project currently have more than 16,000 unserved and 12,000 underserved housing units, including many substantially unserved local communities. HERO would impact over 350,000 housing units and 696 community anchor institutions, bringing new opportunities to these rural and economically-challenged areas.

MTA Snags $12.6M in ReConnect Funds to Bring Fiber Broadband to the Tyonek Alaska Native Village
MTA has been awarded a $12.6 million grant as part of the fourth round of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utility Service ReConnect grant program. The investment will help MTA deploy 41 miles of fiber-to-the-premises network to the Tyonek Alaska Native Village Statistical Area, bringing secure and reliable service capable of 100/100 Mbps to the community. In addition to making high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs, MTA will also provide free workshops to inform community members about available assistance plans. The grant was announced as part of $714 million in grants and loans that the USDA is providing to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 19 states to reliable, affordable high-speed internet. The ReConnect program offers loans and grants to cover the costs needed to provide broadband service to eligible rural areas.

Highline Starts Construction to Expand Services in Lyon County, KS
Highline, formerly S&A Telephone in Kansas, has begun construction in Lyon County. In November 2022, S&A Telephone was awarded $3.76 million to connect Lyon County residents with high-speed Internet from the CPF Broadband Grant Program. Under this Kansas state program, S&A Telephone was awarded a grant fund. It will combine matching funds to provide a total investment into building and deploying the fiber infrastructure necessary to connect Lyon County residents to reliable high-speed internet service. S&A Telephone, a Highline Company, is being fully rebranded Highline and will be known throughout the region as “Highline” going forward.

Related: The Great Broadband Build
Sean Buckley, Editor in Chief of 
Broadband Communities and the host of the Broadband Ripple Podcast.  
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