BAND-NC

Register for Digital Inclusion Workshops

We will host two virtual planning workshops for those interested in learning more about how to move forward with creating a digital inclusion plan in their community. These are the first two workshops of four planned workshops total.

Digital Inclusion 101
September 30, 2-3:30 p.m.

View recording
Access Passcode: y1!e#H7@

Introduction to Digital Inclusion Planning
October 21, 2-3:30 p.m.

Register Here

COVID-19 has exposed the digital divide in North Carolina and its consequences for all of us. Students and adults who don’t have access to the internet, don’t have a computer or laptop, or don’t know how to use them – for education, work, health or connection – are at an impossible disadvantage.

Digital Inclusion – creating opportunities for everyone to access and be able to use affordable internet and devices – is more important than ever.

 

What is BAND-NC?

The Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State (IEI) in partnership with the NC Department of Information Technology, and with principal support from the John M. Belk Endowment¹, is addressing the digital divide across NC through a program called “Building a New Digital Economy” (BAND-NC). BAND-NC will provide mini-grants to communities across the state who want to begin a digital inclusion planning process or implement digital inclusion plans. 

Grantees will be invited to join technical assistance workshops to learn more about digital inclusion and how to build county-wide digital inclusion plans.

The ultimate goal of the program is to make North Carolina the first state in the nation where every county has a digital inclusion plan in place.

¹ Additional support comes from the ATMC, Duke Energy, CoBank, Corning Foundation, Corning Optical, Google Fiber, Hillsdale Foundation, North Carolina Electric Cooperatives, PNC Foundation, and Roanoke Electric Cooperative.

 

How can the BAND-NC grants be used?

These $5,000 mini-grants are available to fund local digital inclusion planning and implementation efforts including:

  1. Digital Inclusion planning: Counties and communities that want to begin developing a digital inclusion plan can apply for planning funds.
  2. Digital Inclusion Plan implementation: Counties and communities that have already completed or drafted a digital inclusion plan can apply for funds to implement a portion of their plan.

 

Who Can Apply? 

Nonprofits, government institutions, schools/colleges and universities, and churches are eligible to apply for a BAND-NC grant.² All applicants should apply on behalf of a county (or a group of counties). Regional entities, such as Councils of Government, can apply on behalf of multiple counties, though the funds cannot exceed $5,000 for any one county, and they must include individual counties in their planning efforts. Applicants should include a list of community partners who are either involved in the project and/or actively supportive of the project and digital inclusion more broadly. 

While not required, we highly encourage communities to identify other funding sources to further leverage the $5,000 BAND NC grant.  

² If you are not a local government agency, please indicate who you are working with in local government.

 

Timeline:

  • September 3: Application released
  • September 9, 2 p.m.: Informational Webinar (View Recording and Slides)
  • September 30, 2-3:30 p.m.: Digital Inclusion 101 (Virtual Workshop)  –  View recording  – Access Passcode: y1!e#H7@
  • October 21, 2-3:30 p.m.: Introduction to Digital Inclusion Planning (Virtual Workshop) REGISTER HERE
  • November 1 at 11:59 p.m.: Application Deadline

 

Application submission and review: 

The application deadline is through Monday, November 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST. To apply, fill out the Google Form where you will attach your application (cover page, narrative, and budget) in a single PDF. If you are applying to implement a part of your digital inclusion plan, you will also be asked to submit that plan (or drafted plan) as part of application.

If you have questions or technical difficulties, please reach out to Maggie Woods at mjwoods2@ncsu.edu. You can also view the Informational Webinar hosted by IEI.

Read the application instructions Apply now

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Nonprofits, government institutions, schools/colleges and universities, and churches are eligible to apply for a BAND-NC grant. (If you are not a local government agency, please indicate who you are working with in local government.) All applicants should apply on behalf of a county (or a group of counties). Regional entities, such as Councils of Government, can apply on behalf of multiple counties, though the funds cannot exceed $5,000 for any one county, and they must include individual counties in their planning efforts. Applicants should include a list of community partners who are either involved in the project and/or actively supportive of the project and digital inclusion more broadly.

While not required, we highly encourage communities to identify other funding sources to further leverage the $5,000 rapid response grant.

Yes. Regional entities, such as Councils of Government, can apply on behalf of multiple counties, though the funds cannot exceed $5,000 for any one county, and they must include individual counties in their planning efforts.

The final deadline to apply is Monday, November 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Your application will be reviewed and evaluated based on the guidelines in the application instructions. Your application must include a cover page, narrative, and budget. The narrative should include a Description of Planning Process or Proposed Digital Inclusion Project, Potential Barriers, Partners and Local Engagement, and Intended Outcomes and Metrics. The narrative should not exceed 2 pages, single-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins. The cover page, and budget are not included in the 2-page limit.

Our North Star: IEI will also weigh geographic diversity and the needs of more under-resourced counties. We understand that digital inclusion affects regions, counties and people differently and that there is no one-size-fits all approach to meeting local needs. However, national and state-level data demonstrates that certain groups are experiencing digital exclusion at higher rates than others, including low-income households, Black, Latino, immigrant and Tribal communities, seniors, and those without access to the internet in their homes. Extra consideration will be granted to projects that serve these groups.

Yes, if you have questions about your specific non-profit status, please reach out to Maggie Woods at mjwoods2@ncsu.edu.

Probably not, but it could help with planning and education. BAND-NC is not meant to be an infrastructure grant. However, the mini-grant could help with some planning and data collection and/or education in preparation for a larger infrastructure project. Please reach out to Maggie Woods (mjwoods2@ncsu.edu) if you have questions.

IEI will also weigh geographic diversity and the needs of more under-resourced counties. We understand that digital inclusion affects regions, counties and people differently and that there is no one-size-fits all approach to meeting local needs. However, national and state-level data demonstrates that certain groups are experiencing digital exclusion at higher rates than others, including low-income households, Black, Latino, immigrant and Tribal communities, seniors, and those without access to the internet in their homes. Extra consideration will be granted to projects that serve these groups.

 

BAND-NC Grantees

Recent News

Institute for Emerging Issues announces next round of BAND-NC grant recipients, continues to push for digital equity across the state.

ATMC and BAND-NC Award $5,000 to Duplin County to Create Digital Inclusion Plan

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, CoBank Support Digital Literacy Training

 


Our Partners:

BAND-NC Funders