Application Window Extended for $350M Grant to Expand Internet Access in Rural N.C. – BladenOnline.com

Raleigh, N.C. – The N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) today announced that qualified internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives providing internet service now have through May 4 to apply for up to $350 million in grants to expand broadband infrastructure in North Carolina.

This round of the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program uses American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide matching grants to broadband providers that compete for funding to expand access to high-speed internet service to unserved households, businesses and farms. Organizations and counties across the state have expressed interest in participating in the GREAT Grant program, and several have requested additional time to meet the conditions required by the program’s authorizing legislation and federal rules.

“The grant program encourages partnerships between local governments and broadband providers to best leverage available federal funding. We are extending the application window to allow more time for county governments and internet service providers to create these partnerships and maximize the benefit to North Carolina residents,” said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer James Weaver. “We want to fund as many eligible projects as possible so more North Carolinians can connect, learn and work online. This extra time will allow applicants to work through the grant conditions with their partners.”

Interested applicants should continue to review the GREAT Grant Guidance document and FAQs at www.ncbroadband.gov/grants/great-grant-federal/great-grant-2021-2022 and the NC OneMap GREAT Grant Mapping Tool and Online Mapping Tool Help Document at www.nconemap.gov/pages/broadband for any updates.

Once all eligible GREAT Grant applications have been reviewed and scored, NCDIT will begin awarding grants on a rolling basis to expedite critical broadband infrastructure projects across the state. Additional details on the GREAT Grant can be found at www.ncbroadband.gov/grants/great-grant-federal.

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