ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Spectrum today announced it has been awarded a North Carolina Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program grant of $4 million to bring gigabit high-speed internet access to more than 1,300 homes and small businesses in McDowell County. Combined with the state grant of $4 million and a contribution from McDowell County of $100,000, total project investment, including nearly $3.4 million from Spectrum, is nearly $7.5 million.
“All North Carolina communities, families and businesses need access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “This round of grants means more North Carolinians will be able to take advantage of opportunities to learn, work, access health care and connect to the world.”
The GREAT grant is one of 20 already awarded to Spectrum to expand fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that currently lack access to high-speed connections. The company is awaiting review of 41 additional GREAT proposals that, if awarded, would bring broadband to an additional 57,000 homes and small businesses in 41 counties across North Carolina, which has the second-largest rural population of any state.
“Broadband access continues to be an obstacle for many residents in McDowell County,” said state Rep. Dudley Greene. “Today’s announcement from Spectrum is helping close the digital divide and bring high-speed connectivity to hundreds of residents."
“The state's GREAT Grant announcement means more opportunity for residents in McDowell County,” said Commission Chairman Tony Brown. “With this project, more than 1,300 households and businesses in McDowell County will have high-speed internet access from Spectrum. This is a great day for our county and its economic future."
Spectrum is already North Carolina’s largest broadband provider, serving 2.8 million customers and employing nearly 11,000 residents in the state.
“Gov. Cooper, his administration and the North Carolina Legislature have shown tremendous leadership in embracing public-private partnerships as a vital strategy for connecting unserved communities,” said Brian Gregory, Vice President of Government Affairs at Charter. “We applaud McDowell County officials for contributing to this project to make a meaningful difference for residents. We also commend the Legislature and Cooper administration for their support of a $100 million utility pole replacement fund as part of the state’s broadband strategy, which is paying off with significant interest and investment. In all, Spectrum proposed 60 broadband projects across 60 counties and $190 million in investment, thanks to the positive regulatory climate and investment in pole infrastructure,” added Gregory.
GREAT Program grants further expand Spectrum’s rural construction initiative, the centerpiece of which is the company’s approximately $5 billion investment in unserved rural communities, which includes more than $1 billion won in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. The company’s RDOF expansion will provide broadband access to approximately 1 million customer locations as estimated by the FCC across 24 states — including more than 125,000 locations in North Carolina — in the coming years. Combined, Spectrum’s GREAT Program grant and RDOF buildouts in McDowell County will connect nearly 4,000 homes and small businesses.
Spectrum Internet® has been consecutively ranked as one of the best internet service providers by U.S. News & World Report, and also earned the highest rating among the Best Internet Service Providers for Rural Areas, underscoring an ongoing commitment to connecting more communities from coast to coast. Spectrum Internet® also exceeded advertised download and upload speeds for all tiers measured — even during peak weeknight usage between 7 and 11 p.m. — according to the FCC’s most recent “Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report” issued in December 2021.
Broadband Speeds up to 1 Gbps, Plus Money-Saving Mobile Options and 85,000 On Demand Choices
Spectrum offers customers a best in class suite of products, highlighted by Spectrum Internet® plans with speeds up to 1 Gbps for both residential customers and small business clients, starting speeds of 300 Mbps and no modem fees, data caps or contracts. Spectrum was also a day one participant in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which makes quality, high-speed internet service available at a low — or even at no — cost to eligible families in financial need. All Spectrum Internet plans are eligible for ACP credits.
Along with multiple broadband options, Spectrum services will also include Spectrum TV® and Spectrum Mobile™ in McDowell County.
Spectrum Mobile, available exclusively to Spectrum Internet customers, combines the fastest overall speeds* with the best devices and a choice of Unlimited or By the Gig data plans. Spectrum Mobile provides customers the highest-quality experience, including access to nationwide 5G, at great value (two or more lines starting at $29.99 a month, saving customers up to $1,000 a year**). Spectrum TV offers more than 200 HD channels and access to 85,000 On Demand movies and shows. Using the Spectrum TV App, viewers can stream content across a growing number of platforms, including iOS and Android mobile devices, Xbox One, Kindle Fire, Samsung Smart TVs, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku and PCs.
* Fastest Overall Speeds claim based on Global Wireless Solutions’ combined cellular and WiFi speed test results in Spectrum service area where WiFi is available. Cellular speeds vary by location.
** Savings based on 2-line comparison of unlimited plans among major national carriers as of 09/2021; prepaid excluded; data usage limits vary by carrier. Spectrum Internet required. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply.
Spectrum is a suite of advanced communications services offered by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states. Over an advanced communications network, the company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice.
For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.