(Clarkesville)- Fiber internet service in White County is expected to grow following the announcement by Trailwave Fiber Inc., a subsidiary of Habersham EMC, that they have been awarded a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund grant from the Federal Communications Commission. RDOF is an 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.

A Trailwave news release says the recent awards are from Phase 1 which required funds go to census blocks that were un-served by broadband with downloads of at least 25 Megabit speed.  Glenn Purcell, Habersham EMC’s Vice President of Technology & Services, who oversees Trailwave Fiber said, “A reverse auction format requires grant applicants to submit bids, the FCC generally awards the grants based upon who can provide the highest broadband speed to an area for the lowest construction cost.” 

“We look forward to expanding the network to serve 700 plus locations in White County with Gig service. The construction process is currently 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 said.   

He also said, “We also continue to explore funding opportunities which will help more rapidly expand the fiber to the home network throughout northeast Georgia.”