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Federal and State Officials Gather at IEI to Announce Investment in High-Speed Internet

Seven panelists sit in chairs on a stage as part of a round table discussion on digital equity

On Monday, November 21, the Institute for Emerging Issues hosted Congressman David Price and leadership from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the N.C. Department of Information Technology to announce $6.4 million in federal funding for broadband expansion and digital inclusion efforts in North Carolina from the Internet for All Initiative

Since 2020, IEI’s BAND-NC program has worked closely with state partners and local leaders in rural and urban communities to make digital inclusion a reality across North Carolina.

“Our BAND-NC program is providing vital training to local and regional leaders who are working with their communities to identify digital equity gaps and opportunities with a goal of all 100 counties having an actionable plan in place in the coming years,” said IEI Interim Director Sarah Langer Hall during the event.

Thanks to this historic investment from NTIA, NCDIT will continue necessary planning efforts for the deployment and adoption of safe, affordable and equitable high-speed internet across North Carolina. IEI will continue to partner with NCDIT on these efforts while elevating local planning efforts to the state level.

Following the announcement, BAND-NC Director Samantha Graham joined NTIA and NCDIT leadership for a stakeholder roundtable with representatives from the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, the Governor’s Office of Public Engagement and Inclusion, the NC Rural Center, Rural Forward and NC 100. Each participant talked about the challenges and needs faced by communities when it comes to making broadband expansion and adoption a reality.

“This investment in digital equity will work as a catalyst for continued momentum in our digital inclusion planning efforts. BAND-NC’s philanthropic and local partners have been leaders in this work for the past few years and it is heartening to see federal support to help address needs our communities have identified,” said Samantha Graham during the roundtable.

To learn more about IEI’s broadband expansion and digital inclusion efforts, visit our website