Broadband operator NorthState and North Carolina's Orange County board of commissioners last month announced a public-private partnership to bring high-speed fiber internet services to approximately 28,000 homes and businesses in the county, including nearly 10,000 rural locations that currently have little or no internet service.
The project, cited as one of the largest public-private partnerships focues on fiber infrastructure in N.C.’s history, is made possible by significant investments from both NorthState and Orange County. The board of commissioners voted unanimously on approval for the plan last month.
NorthState notes its product offering in Orange County "will offer speeds up to 2000 Mbps x 2000 Mbps — equating to 154x faster uploads and 12x faster downloads than traditional cable," as cited by the operator.
Residents in the expansion areas will receive communications by mail before construction begins and again when the service is available to order.
NorthState CEO Diego Anderson commented, “We thank the Orange County Board of Commissioners for selecting NorthState for this crucial community project to help close the digital divide. For those in Orange County who currently have little or no access to fiber internet, this project will be life-changing...NorthState and Orange County are jointly making large investments in Orange County by installing a fiber-optic network that is future-proof, one that will fuel continuing growth and expanded economic opportunities.”
In the deployment, Orange County is using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide fiber service to close to 10,000 addresses in unserved and underserved areas.
NorthState’s own investment expands the project and will result in much greater access to fiber technology and a competitive choice for fiber service for the additional 18,000 Orange County homes and businesses.
“Orange County is a key part of NorthState’s commitment to empowering communities with 100% fiber-to-the-home access,” Anderson added. “And we’re just getting started. NorthState is actively looking for opportunities to partner with communities to bring ultra-high-speed fiber internet to additional areas.”
As part of its partnership with Orange County, NorthState said it will also provide fiber internet service to approximately two dozen county-owned anchor institutions, including fire stations, EMS and community centers.
“Improving access to high-speed internet to all areas of the county is a priority for the board of commissioners, and we are excited to begin this project using $10 million of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding. Orange County is leading the way in crafting a solution to this problem that challenges so many counties,” said Orange County commissioner Sally Greene, who co-chaired the Orange County Broadband Task Force along with commissioner Earl McKee.
NorthState will begin work within weeks to initiate the process of installing approximately 990 miles of fiber in Orange County; service is planned to be available to some areas as early as spring 2023.
Learn more about NorthState.