e-Polk, Inc., was formed to build, own and operate the PANGAEA (pan-jee-uh) fiber optic network for Polk County and the surrounding region. Its goal was also to increase digital literacy, web applications and public Internet access as established by the Rural Internet Access Authority (RIAA) in North Carolina.
e-Polk drew its initial board membership and impetus from Polk County’s e-community planning effort, initiated in 2001 by the RIAA. The planning committee’s assessment of Polk County’s needs led to a successful proposal and grant award of $375,000 for the PANGAEA fiber optic network. Soon after, e-Polk was incorporated and a board was elected.
e-Polk was registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in North Carolina on January 16, 2003. e-Polk lit its network in July, 2004. In May 2007, e-Polk adopted PANGAEA Internet as the company’s official name. Since then, e-Polk has received more than $3 million dollars in grants and partner funding and has grown the network to 200 miles in Polk and Rutherford counties.
PANGAEA Internet currently serves 100 customers at 140 locations.