Bascom Communications grows rural footprint with a multi-million-dollar investment in broadband expansion in Seneca County

From a press release from Bascom Communications (March 9, 2022).

Bascom, Ohio – Bascom Communications is proud to announce the expansion of high-speed fiber- optic broadband with the funding won in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase 1 auction to deploy gigabit-speed broadband service locally. The cooperative was awarded a total of $364,846.70 in the RDOF reverse auction that will cover 412 locations the FCC declared unserved or underserved. The expansion in rural Seneca County will focus on deployment in Big Springs, Clinton, Eden, Loudon, Pleasant, Scipio, and Seneca townships at this time, but will also open the door for even further expansion down the line.

“We understand that the need for reliable connectivity started way before the pandemic hit our local communities. While Bascom’s fiber optic services are available to an estimated 3,300 homes and businesses, we continue to aggressively expand, working to close the digital divide, and we realize this is an opportunity to double down and further invest on top of this award. By utilizing the efficiencies and cost advantages of doing this all at the same time, we plan to actually expand this to approximately 1,000 rural homes and businesses. We are also trying to procure additional state, federal, and local grants to stretch this even farther, to build out even more as the need is there.” says Nate Brickner General Manager/ CEO of Bascom Communications.

“It’s the cooperative way to continue to reinvest in the community that we work and live in. No one should be left behind when it comes to high-speed internet services in Seneca County. We have invested approximately $10.3 million in our fiber network since 2003. While we work to close the digital divide in the county, fiber services do not come with a flip of a switch, they take time. We realize there is a large gap to overcome and though we have been working on it for many years, it might be too much to conquer alone. We would love to partner with other entities, public or private, commercial or cooperative, to accomplish this for the betterment of the county.”

RDOF is a Federal Communications Commission program designed to close the digital divide in the United States and represents a $20 billion, 10-year opportunity for service providers to build and connect faster broadband speeds in rural and unserved areas across the United States. Bascom Communications is one of the 180 entities that won funding from the Federal Communications Commission. Out of the four companies with winnings in Seneca County, Bascom Communications had the largest win and is the only locally owned and operated telecommunications cooperative in the county.

With funding provided by RDOF, Bascom Communications was able to start construction in January 2022. Over the coming years, the cooperative will diligently work toward completing the RDOF project along with other budgeted expansion plans in Seneca County.

When the expansion project is complete, the new cooperative members will have the option to select from all of Bascom Communications’ local fiber services that include fiber television, phone, home security, and gigabit-speed internet. Additionally, Bascom Communications members will be able to bundle their Internet with fiber TV and phone services for cost savings.

To view Bascom’s current and the planned expansion map and for more information on local fiber services, visit https://bascomtelephone.com/fiber.

Since 1906 Bascom Communications located in Bascom, Ohio has served rural communities in and around Seneca County, Ohio providing high-quality, dependable service and support. As a telecommunications cooperative, Bascom Communications is a member-owned utility established to provide quality telecommunications service at a reasonable cost to cooperative members.

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