|Skyline/Skybest Working to Reach Rural Areas|
|Written by Adam Hicks|
|Monday, 08 June 2009 06:18|
Last week, High Country Radio reported that the state of North Carolina ranks 41st out of all 50 states in homes with Internet access. According to one area provider, that’s not because of accessibility, at least in the High Country.
Skyline/Skybest of West Jefferson covers around 840 service miles in Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, and Watauga counties. The service provider also serves the Shady Valley community in Johnson County, Tennessee.
According to the company’s central office equipment engineer, Kenny Church, Skyline is a nonprofit company and their mission is to make Internet, phone, and television services available to residents who live in rural areas that larger telecommunications companies won’t reach.
Church said larger companies can lay a line in a heavily-populated area and serve around 500 residents, while Skyline would put the same equipment, which costs the same amount of money, in a rural area and only serve around a dozen.
Church explained since Skyline/Skybest is a nonprofit, they aren’t concerned with making money, like other larger companies. Skyline’s willingness to install equipment to make high speed Internet available in rural areas allows them to cover 97 percent of their service area, while larger companies only cover around 75 percent of their service footprint.
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