Community Broadband Planning Playbook

This playbook provides the tools needed to follow the guidance you receive from our Technical Assistance team to help expand broadband access in your community. It uses functional resources to help you identify your current broadband needs, take stock of your available assets, strengths and weaknesses, establish goals and create and implement policies that will help your community achieve its vision of the future.

Some 10 percent of North Carolina homes and businesses cannot access broadband-speed internet, figures that are better than the national average and among the best in the southeast. However, the clear majority of these unconnected homes and businesses are in rural and economically challenged counties with low-population density. Access to the internet has proven to be an engine that drives economic development, an essential component to improving public safety and public health and an absolute necessity in and outside K-12 classrooms and in the 21st century world of online communications, entertainment and information. Yet thousands of North Carolinians who arguably need broadband internet access the most are cut off from a connected world.

North Carolina’s broadband plan, Connecting North Carolina, recommends that counties and communities working to expand broadband access partner directly with private-sector internet service providers. The Broadband Infrastructure Office’s Technical Assistance team has helped and continues to work with hundreds of individuals, school districts, nonprofits, municipalities and counties across the state to help them connect and build partnerships with broadband internet service providers.

This resource is presented as a guide to help North Carolina communities create incentives and favorable policies, enabling them to build new partnerships with broadband providers and increase broadband access throughout their communities.