Sunset Earns Grant to Expand Tennessee Rural Broadband

Duffield, VA)—Sunset Digital Communications will bring new broadband access to communities in Hancock and Claiborne counties after the State of Tennessee awarded a $1.3 million grant to the Duffield, VA-based company. Sunset will also invest $1.1 million to bring the total investment to $2.4 million. The grant was made through the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act announced today by Governor Bill Haslam.

The Broadband Accessibility Grant Program is designed to offset the capital expenses in the deployment of broadband in unserved areas. According to Sunset Digital Communications co-founder Paul Elswick, “Bringing broadband access to rural communities is the mission of our company and we are happy to make an investment in the future of Hancock and Claiborne counties.”

The combined investment will see Sunset install broadband service to up to 479 customers in the communities of Big Creek, Bray, Lawson Mill, Luther, Papaw, Treadway, Xenophon, and Yount Town. The Tennessee grant of $1,375,000 and Sunset investment of $1,111,913 are significant for both counties.

In making today’s announcement, Governor Haslam said, “In communities across Tennessee, broadband is an essential service that will increase economic investment and growth to help businesses, families and individuals thrive. With the assistance of these grants, underserved communities will now have access to broadband that will benefit not only the communities themselves, but the state as a whole. These grants are a step in the right direction for our state and will help Tennessee reach its full potential.” In all $9.844 million in broadband accessibility grants were announced that will help build new broadband infrastructure in parts of 13 Tennessee counties. To access the Governor’s announcement visit

Sunset co-founder Ryan Elswick added, “We worked with officials in these counties to assess their greatest needs and submitted grant applications that were compelling in our willingness to support these communities with our own investment and proven expertise in rural broadband service.”

The father-son team has grown Sunset Digital Communications into a nationally recognized pioneer in bringing fiberoptic broadband service to Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. The company recently earned approval by the Federal Communications Commission for its $50 million buyout of OptiNet from Bristol Virginia Utilities and is actively working to finalize the purchase.


About Sunset Digital Communications, Inc.

Founded in 2003 by the father and son team of Paul and Ryan Elswick, Sunset has been at the forefront of remote, rural fiber to the premises deployment since receiving the first grant of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission in 2002. Today, Sunset is a tier-two, next-generation, fiber-optics services company based in Duffield, VA, with branch offices in Kingsport, TN, and Tazewell, TN. Sunset provides broadband internet, private data, internet protocol television, and telephone services to residential customers, small business, medical facilities, banks and other Internet service providers. On Feb. 5, 2016, Sunset Digital Communications, Inc., executed an agreement with the BVU Authority to purchase the OptiNet division of the BVU Authority for $50,000,000.