State awards nearly $10M in grants to boost rural internet speeds

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Person typing on the laptop (Photo: Pixabay)

CAPE FEAR, NC (WWAY) — Getting online in rural areas of North Carolina is about to get a little easier thanks to a grant to expand internet access.

Governor Cooper announced a nearly $10 million dollar grant from the “Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology” program, also known as the “GREAT”‘ program.

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GREAT provides matching grants to internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives to reduce the money barriers that prevent the expansion of high speed internet service.

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet service is critical for businesses to grow, students to learn, and communities to thrive,” Gov. Cooper said. “These grants will help connect thousands of homes and businesses with opportunities across the state and around the world.”

Star Telephone Membership Corporation in Bladen County and Atlantic Membership Telephone Corporation in Columbus County have both received funding.