Cloudwyze landed its first government contract with the goal of expanding the company’s market reach in the state and delivering wireless internet service to rural regions.
The $2 million contract was approved by Nash County at the county's board of commissioners meeting Sept. 17, according to the county's agenda.
The Leland-based company is expected to provide broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of Nash County, according to the agreement.
The company launched its construction for the contract, which includes two wireless internet towers, on Oct. 15, said CloudWyze CEO and president Shaun Olsen.
CloudWyze’s partnership with Nash County has been in the works since 2015, Olsen said.
“We sent out a release years ago to most counties in North Carolina that were in the underserved region,” he said. “They were one of the top ones that reached out. We have gone through a series of steps to build a private-public relationship ... they have been extremely thorough and helpful.”
The communications technology company will open an office in Nash County and expects the project to be completed in about three years, weather permitting, Olsen said.
The first part of the project is called the Broadband Pilot Program, which has the goal of establishing 20 users in the northwest and southwest region of the county by Feb. 1, Olsen said.
“We have taken the entire program and have sectioned off somewhat of a preliminary phase to build out an initial presence in that community,” he said.
The county agreed to fund $315,000 for the pilot program, according to the agreement.
CloudWyze’s first government contract is part of the company’s growth strategy to bring internet to underserved regions of North Carolina, according to a company release in 2016.
The company announced in the release that it was reviewing potential sites in the state it could work with to provide internet, phone, technology and cloud services.
In the future, the company wants to partner with those who are willing to understand the limits of technology, which is more than just dollars and cents, he said.
“It’s not an easy process to go to communities that are willing to work with us and give us access to city-owned structures,” Olsen said.
Nash County will be a challenging environment due to remoteness in many parts of the county, but because the Federal Communications Commission is expected to pass new access to more spectrum, the project will be more feasible, he said.
While CloudWyze currently services New Hanover, Brunswick and parts of Pender County, it expects to expand to other parts of the state.
Olsen said CloudWyze is looking at other locations to work with and is in the preliminary stages with a handful of cities and counties in the state, which he could not yet name.
“Our focus is North Carolina, there is plenty of opportunity in our own state,” he said.