Stanly County gets funding for rural internet access

NCDIT announced $112 million in county projects

ALBEMARLE — Last week, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT) Division of Broadband and Digital Equity announced that 19 counties have been awarded funding for broadband expansion.

The county, by way of AT&T North Carolina and Windstream North Carolina, was awarded enough to wire up 1,013 or 22 percent of the county’s 4,566 eligible homes and businesses.

As part of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan “to close the digital divide,” NCDIT’s Completing Access to Broadband (CAB) program is granting $112 million to connect 25,903 households and businesses to high-speed internet — some $4,300 per connection.

“We are excited that so many counties and internet service providers have partnered with us on the CAB program,” NCDIT Deputy Secretary for Broadband and Digital Equity Nate Denny said in a July 1 press release. “These awarded projects will help us make significant progress on closing the state’s digital divide.”

The CAB program is funded by over $61 million from the federal American Rescue Plan, as well as $25 million from counties and nearly $26 million from various broadband providers.

The program is designed to identify locations that lack broadband access and to award funding to prequalified internet service providers who agree to provide high-speed service of at least 100 megabits per second to those locations.

“Through these awards, more North Carolinians will be able to access affordable and reliable high-speed internet so they can participate in our increasingly digital world,” Cooper said in a NCDIT press release. “I appreciate the partnership among NCDIT, county leaders and broadband providers in helping close our state’s digital divide.”

The awards add to the $404 million in Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants and previous CAB funding awarded that will connect nearly 161,000 statewide households and businesses to broadband.

Last month, the NCDIT announced a $67 million broadband grant for expanded internet access in 15 counties.

“By partnering directly with county leaders, we can focus on their individual community needs and together make decisions that will benefit their constituents,” NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver said. “Thanks to our extensive mapping, previous prequalification process and internet service providers’ responsiveness, we posted these counties’ scopes of work in March and April and worked with them to make awards for new broadband projects in less than three months.”

Additional information regarding the progress of the NCDIT’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity project is available at