EMPOWER moves forward on broadband project

Published 11:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2022

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In late October, National OnDemand started construction on an expansion of EMPOWER’s broadband network in southern Charlotte County. In a statement about the beginning of the project, EMPOWER officials asked for patience, adding that they hoped to complete the project fairly quickly.

“We know that our communities are eager for this project to move forward and bring the entire region access to this critically important service,” EMPOWER President John C. Lee Jr. said. “Our teams are working diligently to commence the construction phase of this project with the urgency it demands. Now, more than ever, high speed broadband is essential, and we are doing our part to deliver this service to our rural residents.”

Lee said the group is making progress, but it will take time to expand the network.

“We cannot mitigate 15 years of internet service providers ignoring our region in a year or two, especially with fiber,” Lee said. “It takes time to construct and deploy … but it will not disappoint. It’s the world’s best broadband technology and it’s time for our region to stop settling for less.”


Over the next three years, this project will greatly expand the availability of broadband in Charlotte County and surrounding areas by passing 30,000 homes, businesses, churches and community organizations. It will also expand EMPOWER’s network to include an additional 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable in a system that will stretch across portions of Charlotte, Halifax, Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties. The $154 million project is happening in partnership with Magellan Broadband, which has designed and planned the buildout schedule beginning in areas along the current backbone network and expanding fiber deeper into its rural communities.