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. 

Kickoff Webinar:

Watch the March 7 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. 

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.



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