GASTONIA, N.C. – This week, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity announced Gaston County as a recipient of nearly $750,000 to expand broadband internet access to underserved portions of the area.
The funds are part of the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant, and will allow for broadband service to be extended to 178 households and businesses in rural portions of Gaston County. The County will partner with Spectrum Southeast, LLC, to provide the service.
Any internet service provider awarded a grant had to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers a $30 per month discount on high-speed internet service for eligible low-income households. More information is available at getinternet.gov.
Gaston County was one of a dozen counties awarded money for broadband expansion. In total, the state awarded more than $23.4 million in grants, which will help provide new broadband internet service to nearly 7,000 households and 374 businesses across the state, according to a release from the Governor’s Office. More than 300 applications were submitted for this round of GREAT grant funding.
The $741,846.85 from the state comes from American Rescue Plan Act funding, and requires a local contribution of $130,914.15, which will be split between the County, through federal ARPA funding, and Spectrum Southeast, LLC.