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The Buildout: North Carolina awards $80M to Charter, Brightspeed and othersThe Buildout: North Carolina awards $80M to Charter, Brightspeed and others

This week in broadband builds: North Carolina awards $80 million for broadband, GoNetspeed launches in Massachusetts, Conexon partners with Florida co-ops and more.

Nicole Ferraro

July 7, 2023

3 Min Read
The Buildout: North Carolina awards $80M to Charter, Brightspeed and others
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The Buildout is a column from Light Reading tracking broadband network deployments. This week we're tracking new middle and last-mile grants, construction and service launches reaching over 133,000 locations across the US. Send us your news here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here. [Ed. note: The Buildout will be on hiatus next week and resume on July 21.]

  • The state of North Carolina announced over $80 million in broadband grants through its Growing Rural Economies Through Access to Technology (GREAT) program on Thursday. This round of grants will help connect 25,825 households and 862 businesses in 33 counties to high-speed broadband. All providers must invest matching funds. Among the winners are Charter, which received grants for projects in eight of the counties; Brightspeed, which received grants for projects in four counties; and AT&T, which received two grants. Focus Broadband was also awarded two GREAT grants worth $7.2 million to deliver service to 1,780 locations in the counties of Chowan and Perquimans, according to a press release from the company. Focus Broadband will contribute $820,000 in matching funds, and the counties will contribute a combined $450,000. With this latest round of GREAT grants, North Carolina has finished awarding the $350 million in federal funds it received for broadband through the American Rescue Plan. In addition to ARPA funding, North Carolina is set to receive $1.5 billion from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program in the next year.

  • Sticking with North Carolina, separately this week, Focus Broadband announced the completion of its fiber buildout in parts of Duplin County, North Carolina, connecting 1,000 residents and businesses to speeds up to 1 Gbit/s. The project was funded with $2.5 million in GREAT grants awarded in 2020, plus $1 million provided by Focus. In total, Focus Broadband has received more than $6.8 million in GREAT grants to connect Duplin County, and will invest over $2.3 million in matching funds, and plans to ultimately reach an additional 948 rural homes.

  • GoNetspeed announced this week that it is now available throughout Amherst, Massachusetts, the first community in the state with access to the company's residential and business services. The $3 million fully funded buildout will ultimately deliver service to more than 2,200 homes and businesses. GoNetspeed is building out across the Northeast with backing from Oak Hill Capital, the same private equity firm supporting Metronet, which announced service launches in "initial construction areas" in Findlay, Ohio, this week.

  • Mokan Dial has begun laying fiber in the counties of Miami and Franklin, Kansas, according to local reporting. The $15 million project will ultimately connect 1,600 locations, with the first connections to be activated in June and the full project slated for completion next spring. The buildout is being funded with state grants awarded to the company in January 2023 and December 2022 via the state's share of American Rescue Plan capital projects funding. Kansas is also expected to receive $451.7 million for broadband deployment through the BEAD program.

  • Last week, Conexon announced that it is partnering with five electric co-ops in rural Florida to deliver fiber broadband to nearly 100,000 members across 20 counties. The buildout is being fueled with nearly $56 million in county and state funding received collectively by Conexon and the cooperatives. Grant funding for the projects comes from the American Rescue Plan.

  • The NTIA awarded $8.39 million to 17 tribes through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). Ten of those awards, or roughly $5 million, will go toward broadband infrastructure projects to deploy middle mile and last-mile fiber, with the remaining funding going toward planning, engineering, feasibility, and sustainability; and broadband use and adoption. According to a press release, this funding will help bring broadband services to over 1,700 unserved locations.

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The Buildout

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast, Light Reading

Nicole covers broadband, policy and the digital divide. She hosts The Divide on the Light Reading Podcast and tracks broadband builds in The Buildout column. Some* call her the Broadband Broad (*nobody).

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