Sandhills_Sentinel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — About 10,000 North Carolina households and several hundred businesses and government buildings are expected to gain high-speed internet access through the first grants issued by a new state broadband initiative.

State leaders announced this week that nearly $10 million will be distributed to winning applicants in 19 counties through the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology program. These competitive matching grants are designed to lower financial obstacles to expand high-speed services in economically disadvantaged counties. Grant recipients include several North Carolina-based small businesses and utility cooperatives.

The program was included in the 2018 state budget written by Republican lawmakers. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed that budget, but his veto was overridden. Cooper’s administration now manages the program through the Department of Information Technology.

Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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