NC Gets U.S. Funding for Broadband Expansion
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.Â 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.
â€śBroadband access is a critical component for economic development in North Carolina â€“ in particular in rural areas,â€ť said Gov. Perdue.Â â€śThese 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.â€ť
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.
Todayâ€™s grant was made by the National Telecommunications and Information Administrationâ€™s (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) grant program, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
â€śThis 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,â€ť 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 stateâ€™s address look up functionality, which will benefit emergency and public safety services.