Arlington, AL – October 26,2020 – Pine Belt Telephone Company of Arlington, Alabama recently
received word that it has been awarded a $13 million 50/50 loan/grant by the US Department
of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service. The funds will be used to construct a fiber to the premises
network in parts of Central and North Marengo County as well as in a small portion of Hale and
Perry Counties. These facilities will represent an extension of a similar $19 million project
funded by a USDA loan that Pine Belt launched in 2018 to rebuild 100% of its local network
facilities in Arlington, Dixons Mills, Sweet Water and Nanafalia.
Fiber to the customer premises technology is the most modern mechanism known to man for
delivering robust broadband internet, telephone, and television services. It is often referred to
as “future proof”.
The map below illustrates the areas covered by both Pine Belt’s current project (the darker
green) as well as the expanded network (lighter green regions) to be funded by the recently
“Pine Belt Telephone has been serving
the areas of Arlington, Dixons Mills,
Sweet Water and Nanafalia since
1958” said John Nettles, Pine Belt’s
president. “We are very, very excited
to expand our footprint into the areas
targeted by these funds and we look
forward to becoming as engrained in
the additional communities as we are
in our incumbent footprint” he went
on to say.
According to Nettles, construction of the main lines in Arlington and Dixons Mills are complete
and the company is now working to convert the services at individual homes and businesses in
the area. Construction in the Sweet Water area will be starting this month with activities in
Nanafalia kicking off in early 2021. As for the expansion into Myrtlewood and beyond, the
design work has already started. That will be followed by obtaining the permits necessary to
place the cable along the various state and county rights-of-way plus obtaining certain
environmental clearances. “This typically takes 6 to 9 months after which we will solicit bids for
the construction and then the real fun begins – the actual cable placement” Nettles added. The
entire process, end-to-end, is expected to take up to five years.
The loan and grant funds are being made available as part of a program known as ReConnect.
Information on the program can be found at https://www.usda.gov/reconnect.
Established in 1958, Pine Belt Telephone is part of a family of companies providing wired and
wireless telephone, streaming television, and mobile and fixed wireless broadband internet
services in Choctaw, Clarke, Dallas, Marengo, Perry, and Wilcox counties. Pine Belt’s mission is
the same today as it was in 1958 when the company was founded by the late Dr. James Nettles
and his widow, Rose Mary S. nettles and that is to provide the highest quality, most modern
services at fair and affordable rates and to support the communities they serve.
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