The Avery County Chamber of Commerce has received a grant of $100,000 to help cover part of the costs of expanding broadband internet services in the county. 

High Country Press reports the grant came from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and is intended to reach households and businesses in Avery County that have no access to broadband internet or very limited broadband internet.

According to the report, 77 percent of Avery County residents have access to internet with speeds of 25 megabits per second (mbps). By comparison, in Watauga County, 97 percent of residents have internet access of at least 25 mbps, Yancey County is at 98.7 percent, Caldwell County is at 96.9 percent, Wilkes County is at 99 percent and Ashe County is at 90.8 percent.

The Avery Chamber is looking for a company to design, build, operate and maintain a network to provide the services as well as provide a minimum of $100,000 to match the ARC grant funds.

Proposals will be accepted until March 30. The project start date is June 1 and the expected completion date is May 31, 2019.