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Broadband in WNC Satellite Starlink

Starlink Availability in WNC

Starlink is a low earth orbit satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX. With many thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) that communicate with designated ground transceivers; Starlink is able to provide faster broadband speeds than traditional satellite service providers.

Wikipedia indicates while the technical possibility of satellite internet service covers most of the global population, actual service can be delivered only in countries that have licensed SpaceX to provide service within any specific national jurisdiction. As of March 2022, the internet service offering is available in 29 countries.

Not with Starlink’s interactive map, Western North Carolina residents can search their location to determine if Starlink is available for their geographic area.

If you have Starlink service in WNC, please share details about your experiences by emailing

Starlink. 2020. “Starlink.” Starlink. 2020.

Kan, Michael. 2022. “Can You Get Starlink? Plug Your Address into SpaceX’s New Map and Find Out.” PCMAG. PCMag. March 30, 2022.

Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Infrastructure Policy

WNC Broadband Leadership Summit

Broadband Advocacy

Over the past five years William Sederburg, a retired college president along with a number of Western North Carolina citizens (including former FCC experts) have advocated for improved broadband services.

Thanks to our legislators, Governor, and community leaders; significant resources are now available for our Western North Carolina region.

Broadband Leadership Summit

Our summit will be virtual again this year due to the number of people interested in participating and the pandemic.

Please join us at 10 AM – 12:30 PM on April 20, 2022.

You can register for the event below.

There is no cost.

Feel free to share the information with others whom you know will be interested.

Thanks to state and federal policy makers, funds have become available for broadband infrastructure and inclusion.

The goal of this summit is to provide local decision makers with information from key federal and state leaders about how to apply for and use these funds to improve broadband.

The summit is hosted by UNC Asheville, Dogwood Trust, WNC Broadband Project, WCU, Southwest Commission and Land of Sky Regional Planning Council. Our thanks for their continued support.

Here is the agenda for the summit as of April 12, 2022.

We have a stellar group of national and state experts that are sharing their time with us.

If you want more detailed information, please email Dr. William Sederburg.

Thanks to everyone involved, we have had great success this past year in advancing broadband.

We hope you can join us to explore turning opportunities into reality for the region.

Broadband access Census Data

Broadband Adoption in NC Compared to US

The 2016-2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data products became available in on March 17, 2022.

American Community Survey – S2801 TYPES OF COMPUTERS AND INTERNET SUBSCRIPTIONS, 2020: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables

In regards to the broadband adoption rate, why isn’t :

  • North Carolina (69.7%) above the
  • United States (70.3%) average

Do you have ideas?

Please share your broadband ideas with a member of the WNC Broadband project leadership team.

“New Census Data Show Broadband Adoption Is Growing | Connected Nation.” 2020. 2020.

“Explore Census Data.” 2022. 2022.,%240400000&tid=ACSST5Y2020.S2801&moe=false

Broadband Availability Broadband in WNC Digital Divide NCDIT Survey

Slow Internet? No Internet?

Please take the Internet Connectivity Survey for NC Households and Businesses

The North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office, with the Friday Institute at NC State University, is conducting this five-minute survey to gather data on internet connectivity for North Carolina households and businesses.

The data will be used to inform research, policy and funding recommendations to assist communities where internet access is inadequate.

This survey includes an optional internet speed test. If your home or business currently has internet service, please take this survey from that location.

Your address is critical to identifying areas without adequate internet service. We ask that you provide the street address of the home or business, to help us identify areas needing improved internet access. Locations may be:

  • mapped to show unmet needs or demand for high-speed internet
  • shared with relevant internet service providers or other partners to identify service solutions
  • included in a public map, with location points buffered for privacy

Take the North Carolina Broadband Survey

  • In Spanish
  • Online
  • Via Text
  • Via Phone

Jones A. Survey could help lock federal dollars for Buncombe broadband expansion. The Asheville Citizen Times. Published March 7, 2022. Accessed March 8, 2022.

American Rescue Plan BEAD Program Digital Equity Act (DEA) Grant Money Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) USDA - Rural Utilities Service

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

IIJA is an investment of $65 billion to help close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to reliable, high speed, and affordable broadband.

The IIJA build upon:

  • American Rescue Plan (ARP)
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
  • FCC’s Universal Service program
  • USDA’s Rural Utilities Service broadband programs

Historic Investment

This historic investment will:

  • Lay critical groundwork for widespread access and affordability of broadband
  • Create new jobs and economic opportunities
  • Provide increased access to healthcare services
  • Enrich educational experiences of students
  • Improve overall quality of life for all Americans

NTIA Program Implementation

The National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) will implement the following programs:

BEAD Program

The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program appropriates $42.45 billion for states to utilize for broadband deployment, mapping, and adoption projects.

  • Each state will receive an initial allocation of $100 million — and $100 million will be divided equally to support planning efforts including building capacity in state broadband offices and outreach and coordination with local communities.
  • States leveraging initial planning funds that will be made available through the program, will
    • Submit a 5-year action plan, which shall be informed by collaboration with local and regional entities
    • Remaining funding will be distributed based on a formula that considers
      • Number of unserved and high-cost locations in the state
      • Based on the maps to be published by the FCC in 2022
      • Priority for funding is for providing broadband to
      • Unserved areas (those below 25/3 Mbps)
      • Underserved areas (those below 100/20 Mbps)
      • Community anchor institutions (1/1 Gbps)

Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program

The middle mile program establishes and funds a $1 billion program for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure.

The purpose is to expand and extend middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas to the internet backbone.

Eligible applicants include States, political subdivisions of a State, tribal governments, technology companies, electric utilities, utility cooperatives, public utility districts, telecommunications companies, telecommunications cooperatives, nonprofit foundations, nonprofit corporations, nonprofit institutions, nonprofit associations, regional planning councils, Native entities, or economic development authorities.

Digital Equity Act Programs

The DEA Program dedicates $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs that promote digital inclusion and equity to ensure that all individuals and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy.

Grant Programs

  1. State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program: $60 million formula grant program for states and territories to develop digital equity plans.
  2. State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program: $1.44 billion formula grant program for states and territories distributed via annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects and support the implementation of digital equity plans.
  3. Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program: $1.25 billion discretionary grant program distributed vial annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects. Eligible applicants include specific types of political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of a state; tribal governments; nonprofit entities; community anchor institutions; local educational agencies; and entities that carry out workforce development programs.

The goal of the above programs is to promote the meaningful adoption and use of broadband services across the targeted populations in the Act, including

  • Low-income households
  • Aging populations
  • Incarcerated individuals
  • Veterans
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals with a language barrier
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Rural inhabitants

In late April of 2022, the WNC Broadband Project leadership team in conjunction with Land-0f-Sky, Dogwood Health Trust, and UNC Asheville will hold their annual summit to further have dialogue on these topics. The virtual sign-up will be shared when it becomes finalized.

“Grants Overview | BroadbandUSA.” 2021. 2021.

“Grants | National Telecommunications and Information Administration.” 2021. 2021.