The State of North Carolina awarded more than $30.8 million in grants for broadband internet projects.
This is the second announcement of state-issued broadband grants in the last few weeks. In July, the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office awarded $23.4 million in Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants to expand broadband infrastructure in 12 counties, intended to boost service for nearly 7,000 households and 374 businesses.
The most recent GREAT grants announced in North Carolina will expand broadband internet networks to more than 13,000 households and 582 businesses across the state.
With funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the GREAT program provides matching grants to internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives. The ISPs and cooperatives may partner with individual counties to compete for funding to expand high-speed internet service to unserved areas of the state.
“All North Carolina communities, families and businesses need access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a prepared statement. “This round of grants means more North Carolinians will be able to take advantage of opportunities to learn, work, access health care and connect to the world.”
The North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) awarded the following GREAT grants:
- Anson County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications)
- Cabarrus County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications)
- Davie County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
- Iredell County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
- Madison County: French Broad Electric Membership Corp.
- Polk County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications)
- Rowan County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
- Stokes County: RiverStreet Communications of NC, Inc. (RiverStreet Networks)
- Transylvania County: ZITEL LLC
- Union County: Windstream North Carolina, LLC (Windstream)
- Yadkin County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
North Carolina is one of many states that are announcing broadband funding programs. Others that have announced recently include Vermont, Arizona and Maryland. Some programs are funded, at least in part, through programs created in the ARPA and the CARES Act. More federal broadband money will flow to the states once the BEAD program gets underway.