Monday, May 9, 2022 - 00:00

State’s Broadband Infrastructure Office Receives More Than 300 Grant Applications to Expand Internet Access

The Broadband Infrastructure Office has received 305 applications from 38 high-speed internet providers for the current round of Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology grants to expand the state’s broadband infrastructure.
Raleigh, NC
May 9, 2022

The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT) Broadband Infrastructure Office has received 305 applications from 38 high-speed internet providers for the current round of Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants to expand the state’s broadband infrastructure. These grants will help connect North Carolinians with high-speed internet infrastructure so they can access crucial digital resources for work, education and telehealth. 

“High-speed and reliable internet is essential to strengthening rural communities across our state and providing every North Carolinian with the chance to succeed in today’s digital society,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “The number of applications for these grants is exciting and we will continue to work with county governments and internet service providers to expand North Carolina’s broadband infrastructure.”  

Organizations and counties across the state expressed interest in participating in the GREAT Grant program, which may award up to $350 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide matching grants to broadband providers that compete for funding to expand access to high-speed internet service to unserved households, businesses and farms. NCDIT received applications proposing service to most North Carolina counties, and many counties had proposals from multiple high-speed internet provider applicants. 

“While the Broadband Infrastructure Office has administered GREAT grants for several years, this level of enthusiasm from counties and internet providers and this unprecedented amount of funding means we can make huge progress on closing the digital divide in North Carolina over the next several years,” said NCDIT Secretary James Weaver, who is also the state Chief Information Officer. 

Later this month, as required by legislation, NCDIT will publicly post all applications received on the Division of Broadband and Digital Equity’s website for a 20-day review and protest period before beginning the multi-criteria application vetting and scoring process. The protest and scoring processes are defined in the GREAT Grant Guidance Document at www.ncbroadband.gov/grants/great-grant-federal/great-grant-2021-2022.

NCDIT expects to begin awarding GREAT grants to internet service providers on a rolling basis beginning in July. 

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