By Nathan Ham
SkyLine/SkyBest announced that they have been working with Avery County Schools to provide Wide Area Network (WAN) high-speed internet access to all the schools in the county.
“We have partnered with SkyLine/SkyBest for many years to provide network services to portions of Avery County Schools, and we are very happy to be able to expand that partnership to cover our entire district-wide area network,” said Dennis Brown, the Executive Director of Human Resources with Avery County Schools. “The expansion of network services to our schools provides opportunity for both our schools communities to enjoy quality high-speed internet service.”
Installation of fiber networks has been ongoing in Avery County and this will allow for the network to be operating as schools begin the 2020-21 year.
According to Edward Hinson, SkyLine/SkyBest’s Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, they have been working with Avery County officials for the last fear years to find grant opportunities at both the federal and state levels to make this goal possible.
“We have had a good working relationship with SkyLine in our discussions to bring reliable and affordable broadband access to more areas of the county. They have come to the table and have been willing to talk about this issue, and we look forward to continuing that relationship with SkyLine,” said county manager Phillip Barrier.
Avery County Superintendent, Dr. Dan Brigman, says he is excited to see where this partnership continues to go in the future.
“This partnership will have a positive outcome on our schools and communities of Avery County for many years to come,” he said.
SkyLine has made it a priority to be able to continue to expand its fiber network across six counties to be able to offer high-speed internet access to rural areas that haven’t ever had that opportunity before.
“We value the role public education plays in our community and particularly rural areas where schools with uninterrupted network access is essential to 21st century learning. We see how this project brings us one step closer toward possible future expansion of fiber services to remote communities in Avery County where there exists a profound lack of basic broadband connectivity for businesses and residents,” said Hinson. “With our co-ops experience and proven record of success in bringing fiber assets to our SkyLine area, we are eager to make this reality for more of our neighboring communities, but funding and consumer demand will be the keys to success.”