Thanks to new funding from the Federal Communications Commission, 5,732 customers in Haywood County, N.C., will be among those newly receiving broadband services in certain regions of the state.
(TNS) — Thanks to funding through the
"The federal grants coming to
Corbin said of the total grants awarded in the state, $45 million is going to counties in his district.
"A total of 155,000 customers will be hooked up to high speed internet, and we are getting 35,000 hookups in the seven western counties," he said.
The funds were awarded through a process called a "reverse bid," Corbin said.
"A dollar figure is given to the bidders and they bid by saying how many customers they can hook up for the money," he said. "In addition, the providers have to provide some matching funds for infrastructure, which makes the fund go even further."
The first phase of funding is required to be used for Census clusters that are unserved by high-speed internet. Phase II will be bid later this year and goes to the next group that has very limited internet connectivity, he added.
State funding for broadband expansion will continue, Corbin said, with another $39 million being set aside for the second round of GREAT funding this year.
"The legislature is not directly in control of anything," Corbin pointed out. "We're in a tug of war here with the lack of connectivity. The state has put up money for this and now that we've got the feds involved, we're both pulling in same direction. No one entity will solve this. There is no silver bullet."
The announcement is good news, said county leaders, who are still reeling from the loss of a $4 million state GREAT grant proposal that would have served nearly 1,500 households.
"This is all great news for the future of broadband of
Once the Charter system is built out, it could mean customers will have several choices for an internet service provider, something Corbin indicated will be good.
"We need as much competition as we can get," he said.
Broadband championCorbin, a
Corbin, along with fellow House member
Large internet providers fought the bill, he said, but the discussions led to the state's GREAT grant program.
In a Monday interview, Corbin said he intends to reintroduce the Fiber Act with modifications to help ensure its passage.
"Those GREAT grants have amounted to a total of $99 million over the past four years with much of that money coming to
Other western counties receiving funds from the
(c)2021 The Mountaineer (Waynesville, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Never miss a story with the daily Govtech Today Newsletter.