Acquisition of BIT by EMPOWER Broadband, Inc.
The deployment of true high-speed broadband has been virtually non-existent in rural, southern Virginia and northern North Carolina and the lack of that service restricts our region in a number of areas, primarily in educational achievement and economic development. In response to those limitations and requests from members, both Buggs Island Telephone (BIT) and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) set out to provide the best in communications technology by offering fiber-to-the-home to our members.
Community leaders addressed our region’s early infrastructure needs in 1938 by creating your electric service provider, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC). In 1951, to address another quality of life deficiency, MEC established Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative (BIT), to provide phone service to those same rural residents. Now years later, another intolerable rural-urban divide has left our area disadvantaged and without critically important high-speed broadband internet service. The infrastructure required to deliver that service is costly, and for large investor-owned providers, rural Southside Virginia lacks the density required to justify the expense of providing service (as was the case in the 1930’s with electricity, and in the 1950’s with early telephone service).
As you know, BIT has begun the buildout of fiber-to-the-home for broadband and phone service. MEC is doing the same through its subsidiary, EMPOWER Broadband. Working separately on the same mission, for the same members, doesn't make sense! We have signed an agreement that paves the way for EMPOWER Broadband to acquire BIT. By combining our resources, we will bring high-speed broadband and phone service to our communities…faster.