RALEIGH – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that North Carolina received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. North Carolina is receiving $6,415,614.32 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable, high-speed Internet throughout the state.
NTIA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information April McClain-Delaney announced the grants today alongside the North Carolina Department of Information Technology and local community partners.
"North Carolina and Governor Cooper are leading the way for equitable access to high-speed Internet," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "The funding will provide North Carolina with a greater capacity to focus on delivering increased accessibility to broadband infrastructure and closing the digital divide."
"High-speed, high-quality internet access is a critical tool for families to learn, get health care, work and connect with one another," said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. "This state and federal partnership will help us continue to close the digital divide in North Carolina."
“Reliable broadband access is crucial to perform the functions of everyday life, and these grants will begin the process of expanding these important services to North Carolinians in need,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “I was proud to help negotiate and support the bipartisan infrastructure law to bring this investment to our great state.”
“Access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, and the Biden Administration is taking great strides to tackle the digital divide by addressing connectivity from all angles through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Congressman David Price. “Each of these critical investments will help communities across North Carolina build out necessary infrastructure, bolster digital literacy and equity, and make quality broadband access more affordable for every household.”
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About North Carolina’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
North Carolina will receive $5 million to fund:
- Increasing capacity of the state broadband office;
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Improving existing programs of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology;
- Engagements with public and stakeholder input throughout the development of the state's five-year plan;
- Supplementing county government capacity focused on broadband infrastructure and digital equity planning and program delivery.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
North Carolina will receive $1,415,614.32 to fund:
- Development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Creation of a Core Planning Team where at least one member will also serve on the BEAD planning team;
- Deployment of surveys and hosting of listening sessions to understand the barriers faced towards Internet adoption;
- Subgrants to organizations across the state that serve underserved or underrepresented populations.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet programs please visit InternetforAll.gov.