PINK HILL, N.C. (WNCT) – A Pink Hill company is work toward increasing internet access in rural parts of Lenoir County.
Eastern Carolina Broadband started in 2017 to expand high speed internet access in the East.
Since then, they have secured contracts with Jones and Duplin counties to use their water and EMS towers to broadcast their signal, as well as contracts with other towns and farmers with grain elevators.
They are now working on doing all those same things in Lenoir County.
Rodney Scott with Eastern Carolina Broadband in Pink Hill said the company is making headway to bring more residents internet access.
Most recently, they received a letter of support from Lenoir County commissioners to expand access to internet in rural parts of Lenoir County.
The hope is that letter will help secure grant money to pay for infrastructure to expand broadband service.
“We would be actually building towers, installing equipment on existing towers and that sort of thing to roll out our service to more of the county,” said Scott.
District 1 Commissioner J Mac Daughety said it is necessary because more than half of Lenoir County does not have broadband service.
"It is hard for us to compete with the larger cities without adequate internet access, particularly high-speed broadband,” said Daughtey.
Scott said expanding internet access attracts new businesses, homeowners, and improves education in Lenoir County.
"They went from textbooks to IPads, and the kids do great with them at school, but they have to go to a fast food restaurant to do their homework because they don't have the ability to have high speed internet at home,” said Scott.
Eastern Carolina Broadband is hoping to make real progress in Lenoir County starting this year into 2020.
The group said the success they have had in Duplin and Jones County is an example of what they can accomplish in Lenoir County.
They will find out around the beginning of April if they are awarded the grant.