GREAT Grants for Broadband Is “Big Win”
The latest round of state grants for broadband infrastructure represent a big win for six Western North Carolina counties that have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide. The Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology grants program, or GREAT, has dumped tens of millions of dollars into providing high-speed internet service in WNC for customers who often have no other options. This round of grants totals almost $19 million across Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. After the $4.25 million in required matching funds from county governments, the total investment in broadband expansion comes to around $23 million. Those funds will help build out service to nearly 8,400 locations.