ATMC is a nonprofit cooperative that not only offers telephone service, but also a wide variety of additional services, including: high speed internet, cable TV, wireless, business communications, and security. USDA and ATMC have partnered in several ventures, but this visit highlighted high-speed broadband service that is having a positive impact in rural southeastern North Carolina.
During the Administrator’s visit to ATMC, he heard personal testimonies from local business owners and teachers on the positive impact that the new broadband service is having both in their business and personal quality of life. Following the testimonials, Adelstein joined CEO / General Manager Allen Russ, on a tour of the broadband project boundaries, visiting a substation where he learned to splice the fiber cable used to connect to the home. “Providing quality broadband service not only requires great funding resources, but also steady hands and sharp eyesight,” Adelstein jokingly said.
During the visit he became more familiar with the ways this project has made a significant infrastructural investment in the community. Traffic from the ATMC workers has substantially increased revenue for the only restaurant within miles of work sites. The substation, where Adelstein received his splicing lesson, was built by a local businessman, Jack Gore. ATMC also provides Gore and his company with high speed internet service. The broadband program has made rural residents’ hopes of having access to the world’s library a reality. In a rebounding economy, the access to high speed internet creates infrastructure and growth in rural areas.
Adelstein said that “The Obama Administration understands that rural communities are the backbone of our nation’s economy. Without the services of USDA, maintaining viable rural communities would be a tough feat. The access to clean water, affordable energy, and the World Wide Web is a necessity for rural communities to thrive and compete with urban areas.”
Investing in rural infrastructure not only creates jobs during the construction phase but provide the platform for long-term economic growth and stability. Making sure these areas have the resources to build strong foundations for future generations stands strong at the core of USDA.
To find out how USDA Rural Development’s broadband programs can assist your county, community or region, click here.