Governor Roy Cooper joined President Joe Biden in Raleigh today to announce $82 million in new investments from the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund that will connect at least 16,000 North Carolina homes and businesses to high-speed internet as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda. This $82 million award will fund Governor Cooper’s Stop-Gap Solutions Program aimed at delivering reliable high-speed internet access to the state’s hardest to reach locations.
“We are grateful for the Biden-Harris Administration’s unwavering commitment to closing the digital divide here in North Carolina and across the nation,” said Governor Cooper. “Accessing the internet is a necessity in today’s world, and President Biden has continued to be an invaluable partner in our efforts to not only connect North Carolinians to reliable, high-speed internet, but also ensure that they can afford it.”
Overall, the Biden-Harris Administration is investing over $3 billion in North Carolina through the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help connect families and businesses to reliable and affordable internet. Using $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funding, North Carolina will connect over 300,000 homes and businesses to high-speed internet by 2026. The state has already put this funding toward nearly $350 million in Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants to connect 137,646 households and 4,441 businesses in 92 counties, along with $22 million in Completing Access to Broadband (CAB) program awards that will connect 6,012 more households and 164 businesses in 14 counties to high-speed internet. American Rescue Plan funds are also supporting efforts to increase access to devices and digital literacy and skills training.
North Carolina is also receiving more than $1.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program that will be used to connect all North Carolinians to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service.
In addition, Governor Cooper has joined the Biden-Harris Administration in urging Congress to continue funding the Affordable Connectivity Program that helps millions of U.S. households, including nearly 900,000 in North Carolina, afford reliable high-speed internet. Without Congressional action, 22.6 million U.S. households will see a significant spike in their internet bill and potentially lose service entirely when current funding is projected to end in mid-2024.
Learn more about Governor Cooper’s plan to close the digital divide in North Carolina at ncbroadband.gov.