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Pender County hopes grant can bring them high speed internet

Updated: Jan. 3, 2020 at 8:28 PM EST
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The western part of Pender County is looking forward to the possibility of increasing high speed internet in the area. The county is partnering with Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation to apply for a $31 million grant.

“It touches every part of our lives, in terms of internet access," said county manager Chad McEwen. "If you don’t have it, it creates a disparity between the more urban areas that have high speed internet access and the rural areas that don’t.”

In addition to homes, government operations, including fire, law enforcement and schools are among those that have been affected by questionable internet connectivity.

“When there is no internet access in rural areas where these students live, it presents problems for them in terms of students doing homework,” said McEwen. "A lot of them have to get in cars and come into Burgaw or other areas where Wi-fi is available. It just logistically causes a lot of problems and challenges for students.”

A proposal to move forward with the process was approved at Monday’s board of commissioners meeting.

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