Governor Cooper Announces $206M in GREAT Grants to Expand Internet Access in 69 Counties Across the State | Eastern North Carolina Now | State’s largest round of GREAT grant awards will connect nearly 85,000 households and more than 2,400 businesses to broadband

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper today announced that nearly 85,000 households and more than 2,400 businesses in 69 counties are set to receive access to high-speed internet thanks to more than $206 million of Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants. This is the state's largest round of GREAT grant awards to date. With this announcement, over $260 million in GREAT grants have been awarded to providers since July 2022. Additional grants are expected to be announced this fall.

    "High-speed internet access is critical for people to work, learn, access telehealth and connect with one another," said Governor Cooper. "Thanks to this significant GREAT grant award funding, many more North Carolina families and small business owners will have the tools they need to succeed in today's digital world."

    The N.C. Department of Information Technology's (NCDIT) Broadband Infrastructure Office, part of the Division of Broadband and Digital Equity, today awarded GREAT grants to expand broadband infrastructure to the following internet service providers:

  • Alamance County: NC Communications Advanced Serv (Lumos)
  • Ashe County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Beaufort County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Bladen County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Buncombe County: Frontier Communications of The Carolinas (Frontier)
  • Burke County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Caldwell County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Camden County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Carteret County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Caswell County: Zitel LLC
  • Catawba County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Chatham County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Cherokee County: Blue Ridge Mountain EMC (Blue Ridge Mountain EMC)
  • Columbus County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Craven County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Cumberland County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Currituck County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Dare County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Duplin County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Durham County: Frontier Communications of The Carolinas (Frontier)
  • Edgecombe County: Cloudwyze, Inc. (Cloudwyze)
  • Forsyth County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Franklin County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Gates County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Graham County: Zitel LLC
  • Granville County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Greene County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Guilford County: Bellsouth Telecommunications, LLC (AT&T North Carolina)
  • Harnett County: Cloudwyze, Inc. (Cloudwyze)
  • Haywood County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Henderson County: Cebridge Acquisition, LP (Optimum)
  • Hertford County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Hoke County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Jackson County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Johnston County: Cloudwyze, Inc. (Cloudwyze)
  • Jones County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Lee County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Macon County: Frontier Communications of The Carolinas (Frontier)
  • Martin County: Cloudwyze, Inc. (Cloudwyze)
  • McDowell County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Mitchell County: French Broad Electric Membership Corp.
  • Montgomery County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Moore County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Nash County: Cloudwyze, Inc. (Cloudwyze)
  • Northampton County: Zitel LLC
  • Onslow County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Pamlico County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Pasquotank County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Pender County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Perquimans County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Person County: Zitel LLC
  • Pitt County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Randolph County: NC Communications Advanced Serv (Lumos)
  • Richmond County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Robeson County: ATMC (Focus Broadband)
  • Rutherford County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Sampson County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Scotland County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Surry County: Zitel LLC
  • Swain County: Zito West Holding, LLC (Zito Media)
  • Tyrrell County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Vance County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Wake County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Warren County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications dba Spectrum)
  • Washington County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Wayne County: Nfinity Link Communications Inc. (InfinityLink)
  • Wilkes County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Wilson County: Connect Holding II LLC (Connect Holding)
  • Yancey County: French Broad Electric Membership Corp

    "We are excited to be awarding this unprecedented amount of funding to bring high-speed internet access to such a large number of residents and businesses across the state," said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver. "These funds will go a long way in closing the digital divide by bringing equitable access to both rural and urban communities."

    The Governor made the funding announcement today at the Mebane Public Library alongside NCDIT Deputy Secretary for Broadband and Digital Equity Nate Denny and Lumos CEO Brian Stading. Lumos, a provider of 100% Fiber Optic Internet, will be receiving over $7 million in GREAT grants to serve more than 2,600 households and businesses in Alamance and Randolph counties. At the event, the Governor observed a fiber splicing demonstration by Lumos officials.

    The GREAT grant program provides matching grants to internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives that may partner with individual counties to compete for funding to expand high-speed internet service to unserved and underserved areas of the state. The GREAT grant awards are in addition to the $23.4 million awarded on July 18 and the $30.8 million awarded on August 1 of the $350 million total funding for this round.

    As part of the GREAT grant eligibility requirements, all internet service provider applicants must be participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible low-income households a $30 per month discount on high-speed internet service or provide access to a comparable low-cost program.

    NCDIT received 305 applications for this round of GREAT grants, and internet service providers proposed to serve more than 487,000 North Carolina homes and businesses. Applications were scored based on the number of households and businesses they propose to serve, the average cost to serve those locations, and the speeds offered. Applicants must agree to provide high-speed service, defined as a minimum of 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload, scalable to 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload on or before December 31, 2026. All awards are contingent on final executed grant agreements with broadband provider partners.

    For more information about the NCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital Equity, visit https://www.ncbroadband.gov.

    Learn more about the ACP and $30 per month reliable, high-speed internet packages offered by internet service providers at getinternet.gov.


    Contact: Mary Scott Winstead

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email: govpress@nc.gov
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