The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT) Division of Broadband and Digital Equity seeks public review and commentary on guidance posted today for its upcoming Broadband Pole Replacement Program as part of ongoing efforts to connect more North Carolinians with high-speed internet.
The Broadband Pole Replacement program was established with $100 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to quickly facilitate the deployment of high-speed internet service to households, businesses, agricultural operations and community anchor institutions in unserved areas. Broadband providers deploy infrastructure in remote areas by attaching fiber and other communications assets to utility poles. When utility poles lack space for additional attachments, a pole replacement is required to accommodate the new infrastructure attachments. This program creates a special fund to reimburse high-speed internet service providers for eligible pole replacement costs in connection with qualified projects and will be launched later in 2023.
The draft Broadband Pole Replacement program guidance will be available on the division’s website at ncbroadband.gov/grants/polereplacement through Sept. 7. Feedback may be emailed to NCDITpartnerfeedback@nc.gov. All comments will be reviewed prior to issuance of the guidance.
All vendors who wish to participate in the Broadband Pole Replacement program or Completing Access to Broadband (CAB) program must respond to the Broadband Access and Expansion request for proposals by 2 p.m. on Aug. 14 to prequalify. The division also made updates to the CAB program guidance, which is available at ncbroadband.gov/CAB.
For more information about the NCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital Equity, the Broadband Pole Replacement program and Governor Cooper’s plan to close the digital divide in North Carolina, please visit ncbroadband.gov.