from the Charlotte Weekly

CHARLOTTE – Spectrum has been awarded a North Carolina Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology Program grant of $4 million to bring gigabit high-speed internet access to 1,940 homes and small businesses in Union County.

The total project investment is more than $11.6 million with the $4 million state grant, a $1 million contribution from the county and more than $6.6 million from Spectrum.

The GREAT grant is one of 21 already awarded to Spectrum to expand fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that lack access to high-speed connections. The company is awaiting review of 40 additional GREAT proposals that, if awarded, would bring broadband to an additional 55,000 homes and small businesses in 40 counties across North Carolina.

“I am absolutely thrilled that nearly 2,000 families and businesses in Union County will be getting high-speed internet access as a result of the GREAT program,” N.C. Rep. Dean Arp said. “This partnership between Spectrum and the state will increase economic and educational opportunities for so many in Union County and across North Carolina. It is precisely what I’d envisioned when I sponsored the GREAT legislation in 2021. It is truly great to see it come to fruition.”

Dennis Rape, chairman of the Union County Board of Commissioners, said the board noted the need to expand internet service to underserved areas of the county in a comprehensive plan update.

Spectrum serves 2.8 million customers and employs nearly 11,000 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. “We applaud Union County officials for contributing to this project to make a meaningful difference for residents.”

“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 60 broadband projects across 60 counties and $190 million in investment, thanks to the positive regulatory climate and investment in pole infrastructure.”

October 14, 2022