N.C. to receive more than $1.5 billion in federal funding to expand high-speed internet access across state – OBX Today

N.C. to receive more than $1.5 billion in federal funding to expand high-speed internet access across state - OBX Today
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On Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded North Carolina more than $1.5 billion to fund high-speed internet infrastructure under the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

“State and federal partnerships are critical to helping us close the digital divide and we are grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for this historic investment to expand high-speed Internet access in North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “Through this program, we will continue to make tremendous progress in making sure every household and business in our state is connected.”

The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT’s) Division of Broadband and Digital Equity has developed a draft five-year plan outlining how the agency will invest BEAD funding across North Carolina. The draft plan has been posted online and is available for public comment via email to NCDITpartnerfeedback@nc.gov until Monday, July 17 at 5 p.m. The division will submit the five-year plan to NTIA by July 29 as part of the process for North Carolina to access its allocated BEAD funding.

“We continue to work tirelessly to achieve the best return on our investment as we allocate federal resources to address unserved and underserved locations across North Carolina,” said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver. “We appreciate the strong partnerships that have helped us identify needs throughout the state so that we can take strategic steps to reach every North Carolinian.”

The broadband division recently announced that its challenges to the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Map aided in surfacing 115,000 additional North Carolina homes and businesses that do not have access to high-speed internet, adding more new unserved locations to the map through this process than any other state. These additions increased North Carolina’s funding allocation from the BEAD program.

The BEAD program received funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet For All initiative. More information about the initiative and the state’s other Internet For All funding can be found on this fact sheet.

To learn more about the NCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital Equity and Governor Cooper’s plan to close the digital divide in North Carolina, please visit www.ncbroadband.gov.