Broadband improvements coming to western Stanly with new grants

The office of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new grant this week which will eventually help families in western Stanly get better broadband access.

As a part of the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program from the state’s Department of Information Technology, Windstream, a local internet and telephone company, was awarded $163,550, with the company adding $70,092 of its own capital. The project will provide gigabit broadband internet connections for 45 homes and businesses in western Stanly.

“Windstream is excited by this opportunity to expand the availability of highly dependable, gigabit-speed internet service in Stanly County,” Scott Morris, senior advisor of corporate affairs for Windstream, said. “In addition, we look forward to partnering with Stanly County on future projects to further enhance high-speed connectivity in the area.

“As Governor Cooper noted in his announcement, all GREAT awards are contingent on final executed grant agreements. Windstream will begin detailed planning and engineering in Stanly County as soon as the agreement is complete.”

He added the locations are southwest of the intersection of Silver Road and Griffin Greene Boulevard, as well as some locations to the east near Harris and Silver roads.

“Reliable and affordable high-speed internet is a necessity for all North Carolinians to work, learn, connect and access online health care,” Cooper said in a press release. “These GREAT grants awards will help thousands more North Carolina families and businesses across the state access high-speed internet and the opportunities it brings.”

Stanly County Manager Andy Lucas said the county is “optimistic about another GREAT grant application submitted by Yadtel/Zirrus to serve over 160 existing households in the northwest corner of Stanly County.

“This round of GREAT grant funding is being awarded on a rolling basis over the next two or three weeks,” he said.