$350M GREAT Grant Round Opened
Gov. Roy Cooper announced on January 31st that applications for the latest round of GREAT Grants can be submitted through April 4 for up to $350 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.
- Awards can be made within eligible economically-distressed counties in areas unserved with broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
- Project deployments must provide minimum speeds of 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload, scalable to 100 Mbps symmetrical.
- The program encourages partnerships with counties, nonprofits or other internet service providers.
- Grants require matching investments from private broadband provider grantees, leveraging funding to deploy infrastructure to N.C. households, businesses and farms in the most rural and remote areas of the state.
Qualified internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives providing internet service can now apply for up to $350 million in grants to expand broadband infrastructure in North Carolina and get more people connected to high-speed internet. Funds from the federal American Rescue Plan are being used to provide the largest ever round of Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Grants available in North Carolina.
“High-speed internet is critical for North Carolinians to be able to work, learn, run a business or access healthcare,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “We want all communities in our state to have these opportunities and this round of grants is an important step toward closing the digital divide, especially in rural areas.”
The grants are part of Governor Cooper’s plan to give 95% of North Carolina households access to broadband of 100/20 Mbps by expanding access and addressing issues of affordability and digital literacy.
Applications for the spring 2022 award period will be accepted through April 4. An information session for applicants will be held Feb. 10. Additional details can be found at www.ncbroadband.gov/grants/great-grant-federal/.
Administered by the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT) Division of Broadband and Digital Equity, the GREAT Grant program provides matching grants to broadband providers and electric membership cooperatives that compete for funding to expand access to high-speed internet service to unserved areas of all counties across the state.
“Since the GREAT Grant program launched in 2018, the state has invested nearly $56 million matched by more than $35 million from private investors to connect more than 40,000 households and businesses to broadband,” said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer James Weaver. “We look forward to expanding those partnerships to extend high-speed internet access to more households in unserved areas.”
For more information about the NCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital Equity and the GREAT Grant program, please visit www.ncbroadband.gov.
Application Window Open for $350M to Expand Internet Access in Rural N.C. | ncbroadband.gov. Ncbroadband.gov. Published 2022. Accessed February 6, 2022. https://www.ncbroadband.gov/news/press-releases/2022/01/31/application-window-open-350m-expand-internet-access-rural-nc