Spectrum announced Thursday it has been awarded a North Carolina Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program grant of $4 million to bring gigabit high-speed internet access to nearly 1,500 homes and small businesses in Moore County.
Combined with the state grant of $4 million and a contribution from the county of $280,000, total project investment, including $3.9 million from Spectrum, is $8.2 million.
The GREAT grant is one of 32 already awarded to Spectrum to expand fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that currently lack access to high-speed connections.
“We want all North Carolinians connected to high-speed internet so they can take full advantage of digital opportunities for work, learning, health and more,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “These grants will fund projects in communities from all corners of our state so more families and businesses will have access to affordable, reliable broadband.”
Spectrum is already North Carolina’s largest broadband provider, serving 2.8 million customers and employing more than 11,800 residents in the state.
“Gov. Cooper, his administration and the North Carolina Legislature have shown tremendous leadership in embracing public-private partnerships as a vital strategy for connecting unserved communities,” said Brian Gregory, Vice President of Government Affairs at Charter Communications, which operates the Spectrum brand of connectivity products and services. “Through the GREAT grant program, Spectrum joins with state and Moore County officials to bring gigabit broadband and more to thousands of families and small businesses.
“We also commend the Legislature and Cooper Administration for their support of a $100 million utility pole replacement fund as part of the state’s broadband strategy, which is paying off with significant interest and investment — in all, Spectrum proposed 61 broadband projects across 60 counties and $419 million in investment, thanks to the positive regulatory climate and investment in pole infrastructure.”
GREAT Program grants further expand Spectrum’s rural construction initiative, the centerpiece of which is the company’s approximately $5 billion investment in unserved rural communities, which includes $1 billion won in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. The company’s RDOF expansion will provide broadband access to approximately 1 million customer locations as estimated by the FCC across 24 states — including more than 125,000 locations in North Carolina — in the coming years. Combined, Spectrum’s GREAT Program grant and RDOF buildouts in Moore County will connect more than 3,000 homes and small businesses.
“The GREAT program is a big deal for our state, and I’m excited to see what opportunities the partnership with Spectrum will bring for rural homes and businesses in Moore County that will soon have high-speed internet access at their doorsteps,” said state Sen. Tom McInnis.