WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new federal grant of nearly $25 million announced Thursday from the federal government means more high-speed internet connectivity in Robeson and Scotland counties.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the $24,664,687 award to Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation as part of its ReConnect Program.

“This Rural Development investment will be used to help Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation deploy a fiber-to-the-home network. This network will connect 13,972 people, 198 businesses, 166 farms and 18 public schools to high-speed internet in Robeson and Scotland counties in North Carolina,” the USDA said.

“Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation will make high-speed internet affordable by implementing the FOCUS Broadband’s Faster Internet for Robeson and Scotland Today (FIRST) program and offering four internet packages. This project will serve the Lumbee state designated tribal statistical area and the socially vulnerable communities of Scotland and Robeson counties.”

The USDA announced 32 awards today in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming as well as North Carolina.

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