Governor Bev Perdue has announced that North Carolina will receive $4.5 million in federal recovery funds to support the development of broadband access and economic development across North Carolina.
The funding goes to the e-NC Authority, a state initiative to expand broadband access throughout North Carolina especially in rural areas. The $4.5 million grant is matched by an additional $1 million, including $400,000 from the Golden Leaf Foundation, for a total $5.5 million investment.
“Broadband access is a critical component for economic development in North Carolina – in particular in rural areas,” said Gov. Perdue. “These funds will help continue the work of the e-NC Authority to expand the reach of high-speed Internet and, in turn, boost local economies.”
Since January, North Carolina has received $275 million in federal recovery awards for expanding access to broadband.
The funds announced today will enable the e-NC Authority to continue its statewide mapping of broadband availability for four more years, continuing the work started by a previous federal grant.
Today’s grant was made by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) grant program, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“This funding will enable e-NC to continue its statewide mapping work of broadband availability for four more years, and will enable us to go back into the communities in North Carolina to help us find on-the-ground solutions for broadband service for all North Carolina citizens,” said Jane Patterson, e-NC Executive Director.
The grant funds will also be used to continue the pilot Lifeline Online program, a national model, for another two years to improve computer ownership and Internet usage in economically distressed counties.
In addition, funds will support a partnership with the NC Center for Geographic Information Analysis (CGIA) to improve the state’s address look up functionality, which will benefit emergency and public safety services.