Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gov. Bev Perdue Applauds $115 Million in North Carolina Broadband Stimulus Awards

Office of Governor Perdue via 08/18/2010 San Francisco - Gov. Bev Perdue today  announced that North Carolina has received $115 million in five federal recovery grants to extend broadband connectivity in North Carolina. These funds will create jobs and help spur economic development through expanded access to high-speed Internet in underserved areas.  Through two rounds of recovery funding, North Carolina has received over $255 million for broadband.

The grants are part of the second round of Recovery Act funding for broadband projects from the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture.  North Carolina has already received over $140 million in recovery broadband grants.  Gov. Perdue joined North Carolina’s congressional delegation in personally advocating for North Carolina’s grant applications in Washington, D.C., during the past year.

More information about the recently announced North Carolina broadband grants:

MCNC – $75,757,289      
This approximately $75.8 million award will allow MCNC to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in 69 of the most economically disadvantaged rural counties along the northern and southern borders of North Carolina. The project plans to directly connect 170 community institutions to broadband. As many as 5.1 million stand to benefit as do 160,000 businesses.

With the strong support of Gov. Perdue and other state and local leaders, the Golden LEAF Foundation provided a $24 million grant in April to provide the necessary match for this federal award.

Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corporation – $21,668,232  
This approximately $21 million award, will allow Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corporation to offer a diverse Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network to areas of six counties in the Piedmont area of western North Carolina. Approximately 12,803 people stand to benefit, as do roughly 606 businesses and 56 community institutions.

City of Charlotte – $16,702,490  
This approximately $16.7 million award will allow public safety entities in the city to deploy an interoperable wireless public safety broadband network in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg County area.  The project plans to construct 24 new wireless towers to complement six existing towers on the network, and bring over 11,000 public safety end users onto the system. As many as 890,000 people stand to benefit from this project.

Olive Hill Community Economic Development – $448,742      
This nearly $450,000 award will allow the Olive Hill Community Economic Development Corporation to expand access to broadband in the greater western region of North Carolina by establishing a public computer center and providing community training and support, with a focus on helping disadvantaged local businesses, the unemployed, and individuals seeking higher education opportunities.

WinstonNet Inc. – $926,537
This approximately $926,000 award, with $696,000 in matching contributions, will allow WinstonNet to improve broadband access for communities with the greatest need in Forsyth County, North Carolina. The project plans to upgrade public computers workstations and provide new equipment for 38 public computer centers.

Overall, the federal Recovery Act was to invest $7.2 billion in expanding broadband access nationwide – $4.7 billion through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and $2.5 billion funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
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