County receives broadband internet services grant

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lowndes County residents may soon have the ability to log onto the internet from anywhere within the county.
It was recently announced that Trillion Communications Corporation has been awarded $59,258,545 from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP).
Some of the grant monies will allow for the extension of nearly 2,200 miles of new fiber throughout Lowndes and surrounding counties.
The company’s network operations will be housed in Lowndes County and will serve Butler, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Escambia, Lowndes, Macon and Wilcox Counties.
The goal is to provide improved service for nearly 72,000 households and 3,000 businesses and provide broadband service county-wide.
Total cost for the project has been estimated at $86,256,980 and is expected to bring between 1,200 and 2,200 jobs initially with 250-300 permanent employees.
The project will be community owned and will house roughly 15 service providers on one infrastructure, according to Larry Morrow of Trillion Communications.
The project is required to be completed within 30 months and Lowndes County Commissioners are looking to put together a leasing agreement to find a suitable structure to house the telecommunications company pending the approval of the grant’s terms.
Commissioner Marzett Thomas said it is not known how much potential revenue the project will bring to Lowndes County, but “it is expected to bring a lot.”
“The remaining $26 million of the funds is expected to come from private entities,” said Commissioner Joey Barganier, Jr.

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