KINSTON – InfinityLink Communications will open a new headquarters at the North Carolina Global TransPark, as a part of the organization’s receipt of a federal grant worth nearly $30 million.
The announcement was made during a livestreamed and in person press conference on Tuesday, and the purpose of the federal grant will be to install the fiber-optic infrastructure required to provide access to 10 gigabit broadband service to businesses, residences, and educational institutions in the region.
The new $25 million facility for the company will be based in the NC Global TransPark, according to Mark Pope, a senior vice president of the North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region, who spoke during the press conference.
Pope called high-speed broadband internet a “marketing tool” for economic developers across the region, adding that the installation of the network would be “a godsend to our industries.”
The North Carolina Department of Information Technology appointed a new director of the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office, within the division of broadband and digital equity, in December 2021.
Federal grant of nearly $30 million
The United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced some $277 million in federal grants to support broadband infrastructure in unserved or underserved communities in 12 U.S. states and in Guam last week.
The North Carolina Global TransPark Authority, which is based in Lenoir County, N.C., was awarded the $29,985,800 grant to provide what the Department of Commerce statement called “The Lenoir County Fiber To The Home Expansion, last-mile broadband deployment in the Lenoir County, North Carolina.”
The grant, according to the statement, is designed to bring qualifying broadband to 15,256 unserved households across the county.
Leaders at the North Carolina Global TransPark Authority announced today that the provider would be InfinityLink Communications, which opened broadband service in La Grange, as reported by Neuse News, and in Tarboro last year.
“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we now have the opportunity to connect every unserved household in the country, ensuring that all Americans are able to participate in our 21st century economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in a U.S. Department of Commerce statement last week. “This is not only a win for American families who need and deserve high-speed, affordable internet for remote learning and telehealth services, but this also presents an incredible opportunity for American businesses and will make our country more competitive globally.”
InfinityLink Communications is led by Jeremy Rich, who serves as president and CEO.
“One of the things that stood out to me,” said Rich during Tuesday’s press conference, was the dedication of the team that collaborated to land the federal grant project. Rich said members of that team were oriented to make a partnership happen, rather than find reasons it might not fit.
“We provide internet, cable television,” said Rich. “This partnership allows us to expand.”
Rich attended Arendell Parrott Academy, an independent school in Kinston, and then East Carolina University, according to Pope’s introduction during Tuesday’s event.
In 2014, Rich’s company, InfinityLink Communications, acquired the assets of Dale Media, Inc. which had been conducting business under the brand name of MediaCast.
According to the company’s website, following the acquisition of assets, the company began upgrading its infrastructure “to provide faster, more reliable services to more people in the community.”
The company began to provide fiber-optic internet access at speeds greater than 3Mbps in Greene, Lenoir, and Pitt Counties in 2015. Rich said that the new partnership would expand the company’s ability to provide 10 gigabit broadband connectivity in Lenoir County, noting that it would be the company’s second 10 gigabit deployment, following its first effort in La Grange.
This story is developing and will be updated.