Officials from Blue Ridge Energy and SkyLine Membership Corporation/SkyBest Communications, Inc. met with members of the Watauga County Commission Oct. 6 to provide the latest update on fiber construction activity in the east in Watauga County, where crews from both companies have built antennas and buried fiber that will bring gigabit-enabled broadband connectivity to residents and businesses.
The two companies have completed 75 miles of construction across Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the Elk Creek/Powderhorn, Stony Fork/Wildcat, Blackberry/Sampson and Howard’s Creek/Ray Brown areas), and as part from Phase 1 of the project, there are currently 62 active fiber customers now connected to broadband services through SkyBest Communications. With $7.5 million in funding from the Watauga County Board of Commissioners, a total of 150 miles of aerial and underground fiber will be constructed by Blue Ridge Energy and SkyLine/SkyBest over the next two and a half years to serve over 1,700 unserved or underserved locations.
Despite supply chain delays for some equipment, companies are reporting steady progress as splicing is progressing well and remote site acquisition, on-site work and placement activity is proceeding well for all Site (s. Project area residents are encouraged to submit their address online at www.fiber.skybest.com to be contacted by SkyBest when broadband service becomes available to their location.
SkyLine Membership Corporation has a long history of bringing advanced telecommunications services to Northwest North Carolina and East Tennessee since its formation as a member-owned telephone cooperative 71 years ago. Recognized for its Gig-capable fiber optic network as one of the largest and most progressive rural telecoms in the United States, SkyLine and its wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Communications, provide advanced communications and technology solutions on an expanding network in northwestern North Carolina and eastern/mid Tennessee. The companies specifically provide symmetric Gig and bundled broadband services (voice, Internet, digital TV), business communications, networking and hosting solutions, business phone systems, security and monitoring services monitored.
SkyLine and SkyBest continue their efforts to expand the delivery of fiber technology to underserved areas, engage in collaboration to advance the telecommuting economy, and contribute meaningfully to communities through their service footprint.
About Blue Ridge Energy
Blue Ridge Electric serves approximately 78,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and parts of Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties. Its propane and fuels subsidiary serves customers in the Cooperative’s service area as well as Burke, Catawba and Grayson County, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com.