President Biden Unveils $82 Million Investment to Expand Internet Access in North Carolina

The money will fund the Broadband Stop Gap Solutions Program.

President Biden Unveils $82 Million Investment to Expand Internet Access in North Carolina
Screenshot of President Joe Biden via The White House on YouTube.

January 18, 2024 – President Joe Biden announced Thursday an $82 million investment from the Capital Projects Fund to connect 16,000 additional North Carolina homes and businesses to high-speed internet. 

The $82.2 million announced Thursday will fund the Broadband Stop Gap Solutions Program to extend high-speed internet service to reach individual or small pockets of households or businesses which have not been reached through prior federal investments. 

North Carolina’s broadband office will work with counties to identify remaining locations that lack high-speed internet and then make Stop Gap Program awards on a county-by-county basis. 

“By the end of the decade, we’re going to finish the job reaching all the remaining homes, schools, libraries, small businesses, and healthcare facilities in North Carolina that don’t have access to high-speed internet today,” said Biden, speaking at the Abbott’s Creek Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Biden emphasized the impact the government’s digitization effort is having on economic growth in the state. North Carolina, home to two of the largest fiber plants in the country, produces more than 40 percent of the U.S.-made fiber-optic cable.

CommScope and Corning, based in Hickory, North Carolina, are investing nearly $550 million combined to build fiber-optic cable, adding hundreds of new jobs in Catawba County in the process. 

Biden is incorporating broadband as a crucial element of his presidential campaign, highlighting the impact the Democrat-led American Rescue Plan Act and Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act have had on economic development, job growth, digital equity, and infrastructure development during stops in swing states like North Carolina.

The president’s reelection campaign continues many of the ideas Biden campaigned for as a President-elect in 2020. The campaign that won Biden the presidency specifically linked the country’s financial recovery to mobilizing American work forces in the construction of  “modern, sustainable infrastructure” and “sustainable engines of growth,” connecting universal broadband to building a clean energy economy, addressing the climate crisis, and creating millions of “good-paying, union jobs.”

Thursday’s announcement is in addition to the $177.7 million in CPF funding the Treasury Department awarded North Carolina in 2022.

Between the American Rescue Plan and IIJA, the federal government is investing over $3 billion in infrastructure in North Carolina to lower internet subscription costs for families and connect over 300,000 homes and businesses in the state to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.

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