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Mecklenburg Electric seeks tobacco funds for broadband Supervisors sent letter of support for project - Brunswicktimes Gazette: News

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Mecklenburg Electric seeks tobacco funds for broadband Supervisors sent letter of support for project

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Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 1:29 pm

LAWRENCEVILLE – The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors sent a letter stating full support of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission grant for the Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Fiber Project.

According to information provided by David Lipscomb, Vice President of Member and Energy Services, MEC services 31,000 homes and businesses across 9 Southern Virginia counties and 5 northern North Carolina counties. The cooperative has capably and reliably served members since 1938.

Lipscomb said fiber eliminates difficulties associated with terrain and trees – it is a direct connection. Benefits include speed, capacity, security, resiliency and is “future proof.” He said fiber is an off-shoot of the increasing need for MEC’s data communications with substations and offices. He said it’s inconceivable to build fiber and not make every effort to share that services with members and communities.

MEC is a not-for-profit utility already possessing the skill to run cable, climb poles, and operate buckets and trenchers. The feasibility study showed this project should be cost effective and fits within the cooperative’s business model that is designed to cover cost, not line stockholders pockets. Even with all the advantages MEC brings to the table, this is still an ambitious project given the total investment for complete system build out exceeds $85 million.

Lipscomb said Southside Virginia deserves more than sub par broadband. He said lower speeds and no service at all are still prevalent. Education and economic development are increasingly dependent on broadband. Broadband is as important in rural areas as it is to our urban neighbors or even more.

For more information visit www.meckelec.org

To read the entire article pick up the Dec. 20, 2017 edition of the Brunswick Times-Gazette.