Governor Cooper Announces $1.5 Million Grant

to Expand Internet Access in Caswell County

An additional 2,857 households and 61 businesses in Caswell County will soon have access to high-speed internet thanks to a more than $1.5 million grant, Governor Roy Cooper announced. The N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) awarded the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant to RiverStreet Wireless of NC, Inc. to expand broadband infrastructure in the Caswell County.

"This pandemic is shining a light on the need for better high-speed internet access in rural communities,” Governor Cooper said. “This project will the make sure the internet can connect people in Caswell County to the education, health care and jobs they need.”

The GREAT program provides matching grants to internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives that compete for funding to expand high-speed internet service.

This $1,541,800 grant is being funded by de-obligated funds from the 2018-19 GREAT Grant appropriations that were originally awarded to a grantee to provide service to Caswell County. Riverstreet Wireless will provide $1,162,470.00 in matching funds.

Two applications were received for this round, and both applications were scored and ranked according to the statute as amended by SL 2020-97.

Applicants are scored based on the number of households and businesses they propose to serve, the average cost to serve those locations and the speeds offered. Applicants receive higher awards for agreeing to provide higher speed service, defined as a minimum of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload. All awards are contingent on final executed grant agreements with these broadband provider partners.

About NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office

NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office leads the statewide initiatives to expand high-speed internet access, adoption and use for all North Carolinians and serves as a statewide resource for broadband access, first responder communications and state-led classroom connectivity initiatives. In 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 91 (EO91), which lays out clear directives to expand broadband across the state through a task force comprised of cabinet agencies, which the office facilitates and supports. In partnership with the Friday Institute, the office is currently conducting a survey to gather better data on broadband availability and quality in the state. To learn more and to take the survey, visit ncbroadband.gov/survey.