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Windstream expanding in Polk 

Provider receiving federal grant to provide broadband to 180 locations

POLK COUNTY—Polk County Commissioners got some good news this week that a broadband expansion is happening throughout the county through Windstream. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met on Monday and heard from Sarah Hardin, Vice President-State Government Affairs Windstream. 

Hardin said Windstream received a grant through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Expansion, which is a federal program for rural broadband expansions around the country. 

Hardin told the Bulletin all the telecommunication companies got together and bid on the grant. 

Windstream won 180 locations, which could include businesses, residential or other locations in Polk County. 

“We are really, really excited to get fiber to these 180 locations,” Hardin said. 

The grant is matching, with Windstream paying for more than 50 percent. 

Hardin said the federal government chose which locations in Polk County were eligible for the expansion. The locations in Polk County were mostly in Tryon, Columbus and Green Creek.

The program is a 10-year program, but Hardin said there’s no expectation that people will have to wait 10 years to get high speed internet. She said Windstream is working as quickly as they can to get engineering done at the sites.