Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III and Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development Dr. Patricia Mitchell announced today that the Town of Mars Hill has been awarded a grant under the BizConnect Broadband Pilot Grant Program. The program provides grants to North Carolina municipalities to fund broadband to business locations that are unserved or underserved by connectivity.

Mars Hill has received a grant of $13,435 to install fiber-optic infrastructure to the manufacturing site of Advanced Superabrasives. The increased bandwidth is expected to enable the company to add as many as 15 new jobs.

“We are appreciative of the General Assembly making these funds available to enable the Rural Economic Development Division to work with businesses to create jobs,” said Dr. Mitchell.

The North Carolina General Assembly provided one-time funding to the Department of Commerce for FY 14-15 to be used to “encourage private sector broadband providers to extend connectivity to unserved areas that are otherwise not economically feasible for deployment.” From that appropriation, the NC Broadband team developed the BizConnect Pilot Program in partnership with the Rural Economic Development Division of the Department of Commerce.

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