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ICYMI: Senate Bill 36 Secures $39 Million in Funding for Private Broadband Development in Rural NC

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Governor Cooper signed into law Senate Bill 36, the first COVID-19 spending package of the 2021 legislative session, after the bill had earned swift and unanimous approval in the N.C. General Assembly the week before. As we previously noted in This Week at the Capital, our weekly e-newsletter focused on the Chamber’s legislative advocacy efforts in Raleigh, Senate Bill 36 includes $39 million in funding for the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program, supporting grants for private broadband providers to enhance broadband infrastructure in rural North Carolina.

The increased dependence on remote work and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the digital barriers facing rural North Carolinians. The Chamber applauds this decision by state leaders to strengthen funding for private broadband providers, who are best positioned to adapt within a fast-changing industry and consistently deliver enhanced connectivity to underserved parts of our state.