Unicoi Lake

Trailwave Fiber Receives $490,000 Grant

Posted: February 17, 2021

Trailwave Fiber Inc., a subsidiary of Habersham EMC, has been awarded an RDOF (Rural Digital Opportunity Fund) grant from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). RDOF is the FCC’s initiative to bring high speed broadband service to rural areas. The FCC will award a total of $20.4 billion over 10 years through a reverse auction format divided into phases. The recent awards are from Phase 1 which required funds go to census blocks that were unserved by broadband with downloads of at least 25 Mbps. Locations included in census blocks that are partially served (meaning not all locations within the census block have the 25 Mbps speed available) are eligible in Phase 2 of the reverse auction.

“A reverse auction format requires grant applicants to submit bids,” explains Glenn Purcell, Habersham EMC’s Vice President of Technology & Services, who oversees Trailwave Fiber Inc. “The FCC generally awards the grants based upon who can provided the highest broadband speed to an area for the lowest construction cost.”

“We look forward to expanding the network to serve these 700+ locations in White County with Gig service. The construction process is underway, but activation won’t happen overnight. The grant is for a ten-year period, however, our goal is to have these locations activated within six years or less,” Purcell shares. “We also continue to explore funding opportunities which will help more rapidly expand the fiber to the home network throughout northeast Georgia.”

Trailwave Fiber Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Habersham EMC, providing fiber optic service to more than 5,000 subscribers in northeast Georgia.