Raleigh, NC – This fall, Governor Cooper announced more than $260 million in NC GREAT Grant funding to provide internet access to rural communities across the state. The North Carolina Broadband Cooperative Coalition (CarolinaLink) members collectively won more than $52 million in GREAT Grant funds to serve rural areas of Alexander, Bladen, Cabarrus, Chowan, Columbus, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Hoke, Iredell, Pender, Perquimans, Robeson, Rowan, Stanley, Stokes and Yadkin counties. The members, FOCUS Broadband, RiverStreet Networks and Zirrus will use the $52,638,848 in grant funding to serve more than 17,000 households and businesses throughout these rural North Carolina counties.
The Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program provided matching grants to internet service providers that partner with individual counties to expand high-speed internet service to unserved and underserved areas of the state. The North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) received 305 applications for this round of grants.
“We are excited to see so much of this funding allocated to the state’s communications cooperatives” commented Dwight Allen, Executive Vice President of CarolinaLink. “Each of these CarolinaLink members have a successful track record of using grant funds to bring reliable, high-speed internet into rural communities.”
To date, CarolinaLink members have won more than $70 million through the state’s broadband grant program to expand rural broadband service. This year, the GREAT Grant Program plans to award a total of $350 million in grants from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Additional awards from this program are expected to be announced in early 2023.
CarolinaLink members currently serve over 150,000 rural homes and businesses in North Carolina and are committed to expanding broadband service to unserved and underserved communities throughout the state. CarolinaLink members serve residents and businesses in thirty counties throughout the state and employee more than 1,000 North Carolinians.
For more information about CarolinaLink and their members, visit www.carolinalink.org.