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USDA ReConnect IV Grant News Release

Star Communications receives USDA ReConnect IV Grant: Clinton, NC—October 30, 2023 - Star Telephone Membership Corporation, dba, Star Communications, receives a $24.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to connect 2,674 residents, 84 businesses, 117 farms, and four educational facilities in Bladen, Columbus and Sampson counties with high-speed Internet services using Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology.

The USDA ReConnect Program is funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is designed to fund the most difficult high-speed Internet projects in the nation, that are the most rural, remote, and unserved areas. The nearly $700 million in grants and loans that were announced in August 2023, provides connections to thousands of rural residents, farmers, and businesses in 22 states to reliable, affordable high-speed Internet.

“Star is very grateful to once again be the recipient of a ReConnect Grant. We are thankful for the USDA and their ongoing efforts to expand access to high-speed internet in rural areas,” Star CEO Donna C. Bullard stated. “Without this program and their assistance, we could not have accelerated our buildout efforts in the way that we have over the past few years. This award is a crowing achievement for Sampson, Bladen, and Columbus counties.”

“I am proud to represent the Biden-Harris Administration today as we continue our partnership with Star Communications with the continued expansion into Sampson, Bladen, and Columbus counties with this $24.9 million ReConnect Grant,” stated Reginald Speight, USDA State Director for North Carolina. “This effort today is part of a targeted and intentional investment effort in White House designated areas called Rural Partners’ Network. This is part of the intentionality that we are having to make investments in certain counties that the White House has designated as counties that we are looking at that are unserved or underserved areas. Thank you for this opportunity to partner with you once again in your efforts to provide affordable and reliable internet to the residents of Bladen, Columbus, and Sampson counties.”

This grant is the second ReConnect grant received by Star Communications to assist the Cooperative in lowering the financial burden that prevents high-speed Internet service expansion in some of the most rural communities in the state of North Carolina. In 2019, Star Communications was awarded a $23.4 million USDA ReConnect Grant to serve more than 8,600 homes, farms, businesses and critical care facilities in Sampson and Bladen County. Star Communications provided matching funds in the amount of $7.4 million for a total investment in excess of $30 million in the expansion of broadband services in these rural communities.

Star Telephone Membership Corporation is a member owned cooperative based in Clinton, NC. Established in 1959, Star’s service area includes portions of Sampson, Bladen, Cumberland, Columbus, and Duplin County. Star provides services in additional areas through its wholly owned subsidiary StarVision, Inc. Star provides voice, video, broadband, security, hosted cloud solutions, and surveillance services across southeastern North Carolina. From more information, call (800) 706-6538, or visit www.

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NC GREAT Grant Project News Release

Star Communications completes NC GREAT Grant Project in Bladen County: Bladen County NC – Star Communications announced today that it has completed its NC GREAT Grant project in Bladen County. With the completion of this project , households and businesses in the area of Pusey’s Store, Mote Road and Oak Grove Church communities in Bladen County now have access to high speed internet with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit as well as digital cable TV, home telephone and security services.

These three projects in Bladen County were made possible through an $850,000 grant from the NC GREAT Grant program awarded to Star in May of 2019. The NC GREAT Grant program was established in 2018 by Governor Roy Cooper and the NC General Assembly and facilitated through the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT). Star Communications was required to make a matching dollar for dollar investment of $850,000 for the grant areas. This project will make possible fiber optic connectivity to more than 400 homes, farms and businesses in Bladen County.

“Star Communications is very pleased to announce the completion of this project in these communities in Bladen County making fiber optic broadband services available to residents,” said Jeff Nethercutt, Star Communications Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We are very grateful to NCDIT, the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Roy Cooper’s office for making these funds available. Broadband availability in these areas will serve as a tremendous tool for economic development, distance learning and access to the global economies of the 21st century.”

Star Communications was also awarded a $23.4 million dollar USDA ReConnect Grant in 2019 to serve more than 8,600 homes, farms, businesses and critical care facilities in portions of Sampson and Bladen County. Star Communications will provide matching funds in the amount of $7.4 million dollars for a total investment in excess of $30 million dollars in the expansion of broadband in these rural communities.

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Star Communications and the USDA-RA Announce Community Connect Grant Funding

Community Connect Grant Funding: Clinton, N.C., Dec 21, 2021 – Star Communications is bringing Fiber-to-the-Home and Business Services to the Coharie Exchange, in Sampson County, North Carolina. The area’s leading telecommunications provider continues to advance communities and extend their fiber footprint — Star Telephone Membership Corp. (dba: Star Communications), a growing telecommunications provider, has just been awarded a $2.3 million dollar USDA Community Connect Grant to assist Star with deploying fiber and broadband in the northern portion of their service territory. U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight announced USDA is investing $5.2 million to build and improve access to high-speed Internet rural infrastructure in North Carolina. The USDA grant will help to bring enhanced fiberdriven products and services including gigabit-Internet speeds to these communities. The construction of the fiber-optic infrastructure will be underway soon with customers being turned up in phases. The project is scheduled for completion by 2024. “Fiber is no longer considered a desire, but a necessity. It helps advance communications, rural economic development and improves the lives of those that have access. That is why Star and its Board of Directors have intently focused on gaining access to grant funding to improve the lives of our members and residential customers can learn more at