Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Will Expand High-Speed Internet in WNC

Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, big changes are coming to North Carolina. In addition to creating jobs by repairing roads and bridges, upgrading public transit systems and much more, the historic bill will expand high-speed internet across the state. 

Right now, at least 424,000 North Carolinians lack access to broadband, including much of Western North Carolina. North Carolina is expected to receive $100 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help all North Carolinians do their jobs, participate equally in school learning, receive health care, and stay connected.

See below for more on how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will expand high-speed internet in Western North Carolina: 

Blue Ridge Public Radio: Infrastructure bill could help ease WNC’s most nagging problem – internet access

  • A group of Western North Carolina leaders hailed the recently passed federal infrastructure bill as a way to make significant progress on one of the region’s most pressing problems – internet access.
  • Many of the 4% of North Carolinians that live in an area without any broadband infrastructure do so in the mountains says Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer.  “While that may sound like a great place to go vacation, it’s not very functional if you’re trying to get an education or work for a living,” the mayor said during a press conference Thursday afternoon outside of the West Asheville library.
  • Many of the 4% of North Carolinians that live in an area without any broadband infrastructure do so in the mountains says Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer.  “While that may sound like a great place to go vacation, it’s not very functional if you’re trying to get an education or work for a living,” the mayor said during a press conference Thursday afternoon outside of the West Asheville library.
  • Under the infrastructure bill, North Carolina will receive at least $100 million to help with broadband.  That includes money eligible residents will be able to apply for to pay for internet access through what is called the Affordability Connectivity Benefit.

WLOS: Broadband expansion plans draw praise from WNC leaders

  • Local leaders are praising efforts to expand broadband in Western North Carolina.
  • North Carolina is expected to get $100 million from President Joe Biden’s newly-passed infrastructure package. Part of that money will be used to expand broadband internet access in our community.
  • “When you look at the data for broadband across the state, the largest percentage of individuals that need access are here in Western North Carolina,” said Matt Ballance, chair of North Carolina’s District 11 Democratic Party.
  • Biden’s infrastructure package will deliver $65 billion dollars nationwide, with about $100 million coming to North Carolina.
  • “There’s no reason why our children should be having to leave the comfort of their homes with their parents to go sit in a business parking lot to get access to internet to do their homework,” Ballance said.

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