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Posted on: August 31, 2023

Spectrum awarded North Carolina GREAT Program Grant for Beaufort County

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This press release is from Charter Communications, which owns and operates Spectrum. Read the full release on Charter's website

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Spectrum recently announced it has been awarded a North Carolina Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program grant of more than $1.6 million to bring gigabit high-speed internet access to nearly 500 homes and small businesses in Beaufort County. Combined with the state grant of more than $1.6 million and a contribution from the County of $150,000, total project investment, including $146,000 from Spectrum, is nearly $2 million.”

The GREAT grant is one of 32 already awarded to Spectrum to expand fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that currently lack access to high-speed connections.

“We want all North Carolinians connected to high-speed internet so they can take full advantage of digital opportunities for work, learning, health and more,” said North Carolina Gov.  Roy Cooper. “These grants will fund projects in communities from all corners of our state so more families and businesses will have access to affordable, reliable broadband.”

Spectrum is already North Carolina’s largest broadband provider, serving 2.8 million customers and employing more than 11,800 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 Communications, which operates the Spectrum brand of connectivity products and services. “Through the GREAT grant program, Spectrum joins with state and Beaufort County officials to bring gigabit broadband and more to hundreds of families and small businesses.

“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 61 broadband projects across 60 counties and $419 million in investment, thanks to the positive regulatory climate and investment in pole infrastructure.”

GREAT Program grants further expand Spectrum’s rural construction initiative, the centerpiece of which is the company’s approximately $5 billion investment in unserved rural communities, which includes $1 billion won in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. The company’s RDOF expansion will provide broadband access to approximately 1 million customer locations as estimated by the FCC across 24 states — including more than 125,000 locations in North Carolina — in the coming years. Combined, Spectrum’s GREAT Program grant and RDOF buildouts in Beaufort County will connect 2,100 homes and small businesses. 

“I was a leading advocate for the GREAT rural broadband program, and it’s rewarding to see this effort starting to impact communities,” said state Sen. Jim Perry. “Provider partners like Spectrum will help deliver reliable, fast internet access to our state’s rural residents and help close the digital divide for good in our state.”

“Reliable internet access is a must-have for a successful business, learning and working from home, and accessing telehealth,” added Frankie Waters, Chairman of the Beaufort Board of Commissioners. “The GREAT grants and Spectrum’s partnership with and investment in Beaufort County will deliver high-speed internet accessibility and lifechanging connectivity to hundreds of previously unserved North Carolinians.”

Along with multiple broadband options, Spectrum services will also include Spectrum Mobile™ and Spectrum TV® in Beaufort County.

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