Broadband Resources from NC

As communities push toward economic recovery after COVID-19, many regions will be making a big push to improve local broadband capacity.  The poor quality of broadband in many rural locales is a disgrace, and I’m hopeful that our current mess will at least trigger some action to close the broadband gap.  Fortunately, there are tons of great resources out there if you’re working on broadband improvements in your community.  I have been especially impressed with ongoing work in North Carolina.  The state developed an excellent broadband strategy that has been touted by Pew Trusts and others.   North Carolina’s Broadband Infrastructure Office has also produced an excellent Community Broadband Planning Playbook.  This guide has been out for a couple of years, but it’s definitely worth a look.  It contains useful real-world tips and ideas on recruiting local leaders, connecting with broadband providers, and finding critical financing for local projects.  The state’s broadband website also contains other useful information, like new grant opportunities such as the new BAND-NC grant programs for digital inclusion.