The Broadband Pole Replacement Program is established to quickly facilitate the deployment of broadband service to households, businesses, agricultural operations and community anchor institutions in areas unserved with broadband. As broadband providers deploy infrastructure in remote areas, utility poles are critical resources. Fiber and other communications assets can be attached to utility poles within particular spaces on the pole. When utility poles lack space for additional attachments, a pole replacement is required to accommodate the additional infrastructure attachments. This program creates a special fund to reimburse broadband providers (communications service providers) for eligible pole replacement costs in connection with qualified projects.
N.C. Session Law 2021-180 appropriates $100 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for the program. Program requirements for the pole replacement program are currently under development. The program will be launched in 2023.