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Broadband in WNC Infrastructure LISC - Local Initiatives Support Corporation Rural

Pillars of Rural Community Development

What are the 5 pillars of rural community development?

  1. Creative Capital
  2. Workforce and Small Business
  3. Disaster Solutions
  4. Housing
  5. Broadband & Infrastructure

According to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC):

“In today’s world, technology makes up a significant part of our economy and social life. Although much of the country has reliable broadband infrastructure, many rural communities still lack access. Rural residents are less likely to have home broadband, own a smartphone, or have multiple internet-capable devices. Rural residents are also much more likely than urban residents to say that accessing high-speed internet connection is a “major problem” in their local community. Broadband access supports small business growth, improves individual quality of life, and drives economic innovation. Reliable rural digital connectivity is crucial for communities as the world embraces a digital landscape of work and opportunity.”

What will be the future role of Metro Asheville, WNC Counties, Councils of Governments (COGs), and the State of North Carolina to leverage rural community-based organizations (like WNC Broadband); to help identify challenges and opportunities to deliver the most appropriate support to meet local needs?

Answers will come in 2023!

“Broadband and Infrastructure | LISC Rural LISC.” 2021. Local Initiatives Support Corporation. 2021.

Broadband in WNC FCC Maps NCDIT

Review the FCC’s new Broadband Maps

We’re trying to help bring in as much funding and accuracy to the FCC’s new broadband maps.

WNC Broadband leaders will likely be reaching out again in the new year, but want to get on your radar that we need to ask members of the community to check on their addresses in these new FCC broadband maps.

The map will show where access is and isn’t available, what kind of service offerings, and locations. We are still looking into bulk challenges for the addresses, but the individuals directly will have to challenge the service offerings.

The best chance of getting into the first round would be to get challenges in by January 13th.

Below are directions from NC Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) that you can use to help your community.

ACP - Affordable Connectivity Program Broadband in WNC Rotary Club

Rotary Club of AVL

The Rotary Club of Asheville is a service club of engaged and passionate members who desire to do good in the community and world while honoring shared ethics and core values as described in the 4-way test.

The Rotary Four-Way Test

The Rotary Club Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings.

Of the things Rotarians think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Because high-speed internet is a critical tool for education, telehealth, employment, and digital citizenship; the topic of broadband for WNC was an outstanding program presentation for the Rotarian’s Thursday Asheville Weekly Club Meeting.

Additionally, because the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP is a long-term, $14 billion program to help ensure households can afford broadband for work, school, healthcare and more; the Rotarian communities are an ideal alliance to spread details of the ACP benefits.

ACP Internet for Western North Carolinians

Broadband and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) topics were presented by William Sederburg, Chair WNC Broadband with Claire Thomlinson, UNCA WNC Broadband Student and ACP Steward during the Thursday, December 8th program.

Rotary Club of Asheville, Teton Hall's WNC Broadband Presentation
Rotary Club of Asheville, Teton Hall’s WNC Broadband Presentation

WNC Broadband Team representation included:

  • Frank DiPalma – Retired Utility Executive and Consultant
  • Sonya DiPalma – Ph.D, APR, Associate Professor of Mass Communication at UNC Asheville
  • Claire Thomlinson – UNCA Student and WNC Broadband ACP Steward
  • Marc Czarnecki – Digital Tech Support for WNC Broadband
  • Dr. Bill Sederburg – Retired College President, Chair WNC Broadband

For more information on the ACP visit:

UNCA Mass Communication Class Presentations

UNCA Mass Communication Student Project Work and YouTube videos – visit the Broadband Bulldogs page below.

Sonya DiPalma’s Mass Communication Class
ACP - Affordable Connectivity Program Assistance Help

Steward Your Community

NC State Representative Caleb Rudow and UNC Asheville student Claire Thomlinson canvased our Buncombe County communities for ACP awareness.

Caleb and Claire discovered information and opinions with door-to-door travels, asking people about the ACP.

In North Carolina, it is estimated that approximately 1/3 of qualified individuals are not using this benefit for internet service.

Join WNC Broadband by spreading the word to those in your community that may qualify.

A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria at

How do you apply for the ACP?

Go to to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.

2 Steps To Enroll

How does a qualified individual enroll for the ACP?

  1. Go to to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.

  1. Contact your preferred participating ISP – internet service provider, to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill.

Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete.

Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.

WNC ACP or Computer Help is available
Live in a Western North Carolina County? Help is available!

Help with Internet or Computer Devices in WNC

If a Western North Carolinian has:

  • ACP questions or needs ACP assistance in a WNC county, call 828-365-8299 or email

  • General internet, internet access, or computer/smartphone questions in a WNC county, call 828-365-8299 or email