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Leaders demand more rural broadband access; Governor says time to ‘force this to happen’

Published by WRAL TechWire on March 27, 2019

By Mindy Hamlin 

RALEIGH – Broadband was the word of the day at the North Carolina Rural Center’s Rural Day. More than 600 state and local leaders and community advocates gathered in downtown Raleigh yesterday to discuss broadband, as well as health and small business development as priorities for growth and success in the state’s rural areas.

“One of the most important issues we have related to infrastructure is to make sure everyone across the state has access to high speed broadband,” said Gov. Roy Cooper, who kicked off the event. “We need to force this to happen across the state.”

Last year, North Carolina was the first state to achieve high-speed broadband access in all public schools through the School Connectivity Initiative.  However, it is not enough, say leaders, as broadband access across communities is still lacking, putting rural communities at a disadvantage in areas ranging from education and healthy living to business development and public safety.
Understanding broadband access

One of the keys to expanding broadband access is identifying areas that lack the service. This can often be a challenge as internet service providers are the ones reporting where broadband is available.

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