Warren RECC and Franklin EPB (FEPB) announced they will receive federal funding to assist in the costs to expand rural broadband service through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

During a Federal Communications Commission auction, Warren RECC and Franklin EPB together bid aggressively on eligible areas in Simpson County. At the close of the auction, the collaboration of Warren RECC and FEPB won small areas adjacent to the current pilot areas and a few areas outside the city of Franklin.

In 2019, Warren RECC and FEPB began a pilot to bring high-speed Internet to 550 members in northeast Simpson County and a small group of members on the southeast side of Franklin. The RDOF assistance allows the two companies to expand their collaboration to additional areas of the Warren RECC service territory in Simpson County and add about 250 members eligible to receive the high-speed service.

“Providing high-speed internet in rural areas has been and continues to be an important issue nationwide. Fortunately, we have been able to develop a successful model with Franklin EPB. We’re delighted to be able to expand our service in Simpson County immediately thanks to the RDOF funding,” said Dewayne McDonald, President and CEO of Warren RECC. “Part of our mission is to improve the quality of life for our members. This expansion represents a giant leap in progress for them, and we’re excited about the momentum. For the areas we didn’t win, we hope the companies that did win them will live up to their commitment to serve our members with the same quality and service offered by Warren RECC and FEPB.”

“Franklin EPB is excited about the opportunity to bring to Simpson County the same fiber to the home service that our customers in Franklin already enjoy. High speed internet service has become more of a necessity recently, and we are thrilled to partner with Warren RECC to better serve our community,” said FEPB General Manager Bill Borders, “Having an internet provider that is local, and offers the great customer service that both Franklin EPB and Warren RECC provide, will be a great asset to the development of Simpson County.”

FEPB is currently installing in the pilot area. Once construction is under way in the RDOF funded area, EPB will provide more information on signing up for service.

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