BEAD and Digital Equity Planning

Governor Cooper has developed a comprehensive strategy to build digital equity across North Carolina, and the Division of Broadband and Digital Equity is executing that strategy by ensuring that all North Carolinians have access to an affordable, high-speed internet connection and have the devices and skills necessary to participate in the modern digital economy. The NCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital Equity is launching a listening tour to collect feedback and ensure the state’s comprehensive plans to address high-speed internet access and digital equity are inclusive of all N.C. communities and populations’ needs. NCDIT received $1.4 million in Digital Equity and $5 million in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) planning grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration to support these planning efforts. View the BEAD and Digital Equity Outreach Plan.  

BEAD Five-Year Plan

Read the BEAD Five-Year Plan, which includes feedback received during the public comment period, outlines how NCDIT will invest BEAD funding across North Carolina. This plan was approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

BEAD Initial Proposal

The draft BEAD initial proposal provides responses to the BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity requirements and comes after NTIA’s approval of the division’s five-year action plan in August. The proposal addresses the division’s plans for the competitive process it will use to select subgrantees for broadband and digital equity projects, ensure workforce development, continue stakeholder engagement, and engage historically underutilized businesses and underrepresented groups in BEAD deployment.

The draft initial proposal Volumes 1 and 2, which include feedback submitted during the public comment period, were submitted to NTIA in late December 2023 for approval. 

This draft initial proposal will undergo a "curing" process with NTIA, where NTIA may require NCDIT to make changes. Federal guidelines relevant to this initial proposal are still under development, which may result in additional modifications, and any changes to North Carolina law, such as changes necessary to align the state's programs with BEAD requirements, will need to be reflected as well.

Webinars

2024 Update Webinar (April 8)
Register now to attend the BEAD and Digital Equity webinar on April 8 at 1 p.m.

Q4 Update Webinar (Dec. 4)
Watch the Dec. 4 webinar recording below and view the slides to learn about the BEAD Initial Proposal and draft North Carolina Digital Equity Plan. 

Q3 Update Webinar (Sept. 18)   
Watch the Sept. 18 webinar recording below and view the slides to learn about digital equity planning efforts and workforce development plans.   

Q2 Update Webinar (June 8)   
View the June 8 webinar recording below and view the slides to see what we learned from stakeholders during regional listening sessions throughout the state and get details on new resources available.

Kickoff Webinar (March 7)   
Watch the kickoff webinar recording below and view the slides to learn more about the statewide planning efforts.

BEAD Program Overview

The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) plan will describe North Carolina’s strategy to expand high-speed Internet access through planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs over the next five years. To develop the plan, the Division of Broadband & Digital Equity will engage stakeholders through local coordination to improve mapping, inventory existing assets, assess remaining needs, and defining strategies to meet those needs. The BEAD plan will incorporate the findings and strategies identified through the Digital Equity plan process as well. 

Digital Equity Program Overview 

The Digital Equity plan will identify the digital needs and recommend solutions to ensure that all North Carolinians can afford high-speed internet, have the digital devices they need and the skills to use them, and are able to safely engage with online information. The planning process will involve significant engagement with individuals, organizations, and communities across the state. We will ensure that the voices of those who have been excluded from digital opportunity are at the center of this process. The Digital Equity plan will be actionable and will set the state’s priorities for the next five years. 

View the Digital Equity Outreach Webinar

Priority Populations

These programs jointly cover the needs of all North Carolinians with focus on these populations: aging individuals; immigrants; individuals who live in households at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level; individuals with disabilities; individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who are English learners and have low levels of literacy; individuals who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group; individuals who primarily reside in a rural area; incarcerated individuals; LGBTQI+ people; and veterans.

Resources

 

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