U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan (NC) will be in Kannapolis on Friday, Aug. 12, for MCNC’s Statewide Virtual Groundbreaking at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, one of four sites in North Carolina hosting groundbreaking events that will be linked via high-definition video. Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, will also attend the groundbreaking. Senator Hagan will use the event to illustrate how the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative will benefit some of North Carolina’s most underserved communities.
Since coming to the Senate, Hagan has made securing federal broadband infrastructure grants for North Carolina a priority, and now North Carolina is among the top seven states in federal broadband investment dollars. North Carolina has received 20 major broadband grants—a total of $283 million—taking broadband fiber to the vast majority of rural communities.
Friday’s virtual groundbreaking celebrates the start of construction on the second round of the GLRBI. The total project includes more than 2,000 miles of broadband infrastructure to be outfitted through 69 counties in North Carolina. The project is funded in part by $104 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
The Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative aims to bring high-speed Internet access to rural regions that have historically lacked basic broadband infrastructure.