Sparklight® to Open Fall 2022 Applications for Charitable Giving Fund to Support Local Nonprofit Organizations

Sparklight® to Open Fall 2022 Applications for Charitable Giving Fund to Support Local Nonprofit Organizations

Sparklight®, along with the other Cable One® family of brands, will open fall 2022 applications for the company’s Charitable Giving Fund, which annually awards nearly $250,000 in grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, from October 1, 2022, through October 31, 2022.

Grants will be made available across communities served by Sparklight and the other Cable One family of brands (Fidelity Communications, Hargray, and ValuNet Fiber) and will concentrate support in the following priority areas:

  • Education and Digital Literacy
  • Hunger Relief and Food Insecurity
  • Community Development

Last year the company awarded grants to 60+ nonprofits, including organizations serving the homeless, providing child advocacy, offering senior assistance, and supplying food to those in need, to name a few.

The Charitable Giving Fund is an extension of the company’s existing corporate social responsibility efforts, which include:

  • Chromebooks for Kids, an initiative in which the company donates Chromebooks to Title I schools across its footprint. To date the company has donated more than 2,600 Chromebooks to help bridge the digital divide in schools that lack funding.
  • Supporting national organizations dedicated to advancing education and diversity, including the Emma Bowen Foundation and the National Diversity Council.
  • Supporting the mission of Special Olympics, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports, as well as health, arts, and leadership and advocacy programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
  • Planting trees through the Arbor Day Foundation on behalf of customers who switch to paperless billing. By the end of 2022, the company will have planted 120,000 trees in its markets and national forests.
  • Supporting the mission of Keep America Beautiful in cleaning up and beautifying communities across the U.S.

“We are committed to helping strengthen the cities and towns where we live and work by giving back to the local nonprofits who do so much to support our communities,” said Julie Laulis, President and CEO.

For more information about the Sparklight Charitable Giving Fund, visit

Edinburgh Middle School among five national contest winners of Sparklight’s Dream Bigger Contest

Edinburgh Middle School’s Science Olympiad team has just nine members, but for the team, quality over quantity has been the mantra.

Science Olympiad coach Brianne Hubbard started the team last fall, building off her experience participating in the Science Olympiad program when she was in school, Hubbard said in an email.

“I participated in the program every year from seventh through 12th grade and love the different events, the friendships I made and the ability the events gave myself and my teammates to use (science, technology, engineering and math) in a variety of different ways,” Hubbard said. “Science Olympiad offers many different, ever-changing events that touch on different types of science and math, and are engaging and fun. Our team was building bridges and towers, making contraptions that would protect an egg when dropped from various heights and diving deep into individual studies such as astronomy and chemistry.”

Hubbard’s experience inspired her to start the Science Olympiad team at Edinburgh Middle School, which, on Wednesday, learned they had been selected as one of five national winners of the Sparklight Dream Bigger contest, which provides winners $3,000 to expand their Science Olympiad teams.

With the grant, the team will be able to purchase more equipment for events and go on more field trips to experience immersive scientific opportunities, Hubbard said.

“This is an absolute dream come true. The opportunities that winning this contest bring will pave the way for our team’s success for years to come,” she said. “Science Olympiad has many events each season, and they add additional events for state finals. There are events that require building materials—used to create bridges, planes, trebuchets, musical instruments, mousetrap vehicles and more. Sometimes there are specific or specialty items we need to use and we have to order them from shops that have them because they are more difficult to find.”

The team’s inaugural season included students competing in events such as bridge building, ornithology, disease detective, crime busters and green generation. Those events covered areas of study including life, personal and social science; earth and space science; physical science and chemistry; technology and engineering; and inquiry and nature of science, she said.

In bridge building, for example, students are required to construct a bridge that can handle a heavy load of sand, Hubbard said.

“The bridge is weighed before the event starts,” she said. “A chain with a block at the top is put down through the bridge and sits atop it. A bucket is attached to the chain, and sand is added in cupfuls by the student until the bridge breaks or the maximum amount of sand is added to the bucket. The winning team is the team that had the lightest bridge that held the biggest load of sand.”

Another competition, ornithology, requires competitors to identify birds, she said.

“Ornithology is all about the study of birds,” Hubbard said. “The students who participate in this event will need to be able to identify birds, as well as their classification. They can be tested on different bird calls and have to be able to correctly identify which beaks/bills belong to which bird and what they are used for. They should be able to identify different bird eggs and name all the parts of the bird’s anatomy.”

Fifth grader Cole Schoettmer followed his older brother onto the team and was the only student on the team in his grade, Schoettmer said in an email.

During competition events, Schoettmer most enjoyed events involving building and those involving minerals, he said.

“I liked using the power tools in the woodshop. My mousetrap car was in the top 10, number eight, at the state competition,” Schoettmer said. “I like building stuff and cars. The Rocks and Minerals event was good because I like crystals.”

Schoettmer, who hopes to win an event at the state competition next year, is hopeful about the future of the Science Olympiad team after it won the grant, he said.

“It is awesome that we won,” Schoettmer said. “Now we can build our team and continue next year.”


Source: Daily Journal 

Cable One JV Clearwave wants to hit 500K rural homes with fiber by 2027

Clearwave Fiber, a joint venture formed by operator Cable One and a handful of partners in January, is looking to make a big impact in small towns, targeting fiber rollouts to half a million rural locations by 2027. It is mostly aiming for organic growth but also has its eye out for strategic acquisitions and in fact already struck a deal to buy a small Kansas-based fiber provider, Midwest President Byron Cantrall told Fierce.

According to Cantrall, Clearwave plans to hit its expansion goal through a 70/30 mix of densification in existing markets and edge outs to greenfield areas outside its current footprint. The former will include work in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and South Carolina, while the latter could see it reach into parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Indiana.

“The specific focus is just that underserved rural community where there’s either no fiber provider that’s building fiber-to-the-home, fiber-to-the-curb services for these communities or perhaps there was an original fiber operator that has stopped building into that community for various reasons where we can go bridge that digital and economic divide,” he said.

In terms of how its work will be spread out over the years, Cantrall said 2022 will primarily be spent putting staff and resources in place to enable the company to ramp construction in 2023 and beyond. Though he didn’t provide a passings target for each year, he noted the goal for 2022 will be “maybe a third” of what it’ll be aiming to hit in 2023, 2024 and 2025. The executive added 2026 and 2027 will be more about densifying in the areas where it’s already expanded.

As it grows its fiber footprint, Cantrall said Clearwave is expecting penetration rates to reach around 20% after 12 months. But that number could be much, much higher. “We think that the communities – because of how unserved these communities are the take rate will be much greater than that,” he said.

Right now it’s offering plans ranging from 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps, but Cantrall said it is looking to move into multi-gig territory sometime in the future.


Clearwave is also looking to supplement its organic growth with acquisitions, though such transactions aren’t core to its strategy. In particular, it’s hunting for targets in or nearby the areas where it plans to expand that have a company culture similar to its own. Cantrall revealed it actually just struck a deal to scoop up a small operator in Kansas called RG Fiber. Additional details about that deal were not immediately available.

“As those opportunities pop up, we’re going to continue to be aggressive in pursuing them,” Cantrall stated, adding it is especially interested in “small, rural fiber operators that are perhaps underfunded, that if they just had access to a strategy and more capital we can accelerate the growth.”


Source: Fierce Telecom


Sparklight® Named to Forbes 2022 America’s Best Mid-Sized Employers List

Sparklight, a leading broadband communications provider and a member of the Cable One family of brands, has once again been named to Forbes America’s Best Mid-Sized Employers List. This is the second consecutive year Forbes has recognized Sparklight as one of the top employers in the U.S.

“We continue to focus on creating a workplace in which our associates feel valued and included, and we were honored that our team recognized that commitment through our ranking on the Forbes list of America’s Best Midsized Employers again this year,” said Julie Laulis, Cable One President and CEO. “This recognition was especially meaningful this year, given continued impacts from the pandemic and the additional challenges it places on our associates. Despite facing many uncertainties, they remained unwavering in their commitment to keeping our customers connected to what matters most. Our associates are unquestionably the heart of our company and the reason behind our behind our long-term success.”

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to pinpoint companies rated highest by employees in an annual ranking of America’s Best Employers. Statista surveyed 60,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of zero to 10 how likely they would be to recommend their employer. They were also asked to rate their companies on factors such as working conditions, development opportunities and compensation. The award is given to only 500 midsize (1,000 to 5,000 employees) employers in the United States.

Sparklight provides its associates with the opportunity for a thriving and rewarding career, a focus on health and wellness, an excellent work/life balance, and an open and inclusive workplace. Current job openings can be found at


Source: Cable One

Sparklight® Offers Residential Customers Free Calls to Ukraine

 Sparklight®, a member of the Cable One family of brands, today announced it will offer its residential phone customers free, unlimited international calls to Ukraine from February 25, 2022 through March 12, 2022 in response to the current events in this region.

“During this time of unrest, we want to ensure our customers stay connected with what matters most – their loved ones in Ukraine,” said Julie Laulis, Cable One President and CEO.

Customers must visit and submit account information in order to have calls to Ukraine credited.


Source: Cable One