Gov. Cooper announces ‘Internet for All’ initiative

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 7:45 PM EDT
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MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A plan to make internet access more reliable and affordable for residents is coming to North Carolina.

White House officials joined Gov. Roy Cooper in Durham Friday afternoon to announce the Internet for All initiative. The plan not only targets bringing more internet to rural and inner-city areas across the state, but it will also teach people how to navigate an increasingly online world.

An estimated 1.1 million North Carolinians currently don’t have access to reliable or affordable internet.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says it’ll be a $45 billion investment nationwide in affordable, reliable, high-speed internet access that would provide internet to everyone in America by the year 2030.

Martin County Schools Spokesperson Sarah Stalls says a lot of people in her area are used to a lack of internet service. Stalls says the problem became obvious during the pandemic when people were forced to work and learn from home.

“Parents were able to sign up for hot spots, but in areas where the connectivity is not there, the hotpots are not as much help,” Stall said.

Though the Internet for All initiative will take up to eight years to complete, Martin County Commissioner Skip Gurganus says through federal grants, the county is working with several internet providers to bring service to all citizens in the county.

North Carolina will receive $5 million of funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to build a 5-year action plan. Then it will receive $100million at minimum to build the infrastructure.

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