Officials from Blue Ridge Energy and SkyLine Membership Corporation/SkyBest Communications, Inc. met with members of the Watauga County Commission on October 6 to provide the latest update on fiber construction activity in eastern Watauga County, where crews from both companies have been constructing both aerial and buried fiber that will bring gigabit-capable broadband connectivity to residents and businesses.
The two companies have completed 75 miles of construction across Phase 1, 2,3 and 4 to areas of Elk Creek/Powderhorn, Stony Fork/Wildcat, Blackberry/Sampson and Howard’s Creek/Ray Brown), and as part of 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 awarded from the Watauga County Board of Commissioners, a total of 150 miles of overhead and underground fiber will be constructed by Blue Ridge Energy and SkyLine/SkyBest over the next two and a half years to serve more than 1,700 unserved or underserved locations.
Despite supply chain issue delays for some equipment items, the companies report steady progress as splicing is making good headway, and remote site acquisition, site work and placement activity is going well for all locations. Residents in the project area are encouraged to submit their address online at www.fiber.skybest.com to be contacted by SkyBest when broadband service is available at 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 network as one of the largest and most progressive rural telecoms in the U.S., SkyLine and its wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Communications, deliver advanced communications and technology solutions over an expanding network in northwest North Carolina and east/middle Tennessee. The companies specifically provide symmetrical Gig broadband and bundled services (voice, internet, digital TV), business communications, network and hosting solutions, business phone systems, monitored security and surveillance services.
SkyLine and SkyBest continue efforts to extend the delivery of fiber technology to underserved areas, engage collaboratively to advance the telework economy and contribute meaningfully to communities across their service footprint.
About Blue Ridge Energy
Blue Ridge Electric serves some 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, Va. Learn more at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com.