Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — More than 13,000 households and 582 businesses across North Carolina, including many in rural Iredell County, are set to receive access to high-speed internet thanks to more than $30.8 million in grants, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday.

The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT) awarded the following Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants to expand broadband infrastructure:

♦ Anson County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications)
♦ Cabarrus County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications)
♦ Davie County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
Iredell County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
♦ Madison County: French Broad Electric Membership Corp.
♦ Polk County: Spectrum Southeast, LLC (Charter Communications)
♦ Rowan County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)
S♦ tokes County: RiverStreet Communications of NC, Inc. (RiverStreet Networks)
♦ Transylvania County: ZITEL LLC
♦ Union County: Windstream North Carolina, LLC (Windstream)
♦ Yadkin County: Yadkin Valley TMC (Yadtel | Zirrus)

“All North Carolina communities, families and businesses need access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet,” Cooper said. “This round of grants means more North Carolinians will be able to take advantage of opportunities to learn, work, access health care and connect to the world.”

Using funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the GREAT program provides matching grants to internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives that may partner with individual N.C. counties to compete for funding to expand high-speed internet service to unserved areas of the state. NCDIT awarded more than $23.4 million in GREAT grants to internet service providers in 12 counties on July 18 and will continue to make awards for the remainder of the $350 million total GREAT grant funding in August.

“We are excited to continue getting these GREAT grant awards out as quickly as possible so providers can begin work to connect North Carolinians across the state to high-speed internet,” said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver. “Our team is continuing to work to get more grants out the door to get more people connected.”

NCDIT will share additional details about applications and individual grant awards once its review process is complete and all awards have been made in August.

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