COVID-19 is exposing the digital divide in North Carolina and its consequences for all of us. Students and adults who don’t have access to the internet, don’t have a computer or laptop or don’t know how to use them – for education, work, health, or connection – are at an impossible disadvantage.
Digital Inclusion – creating opportunities for everyone to access and be able to use affordable internet and devices – is more important than ever.
What is BAND-NC?
In response to this immediate need, the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State (IEI) in partnership with the Broadband Infrastructure Office at the NC Department of Information Technology, and with principal support from the John M. Belk Endowment¹, is addressing the digital divide across NC through a new program called “Building a New Digital Economy” (BAND-NC). BAND-NC will provide rapid-response community innovation mini-grants to communities across the state.
Who Can Apply?
Nonprofits, government institutions, schools/colleges and universities, and churches are eligible to apply for a BAND-NC grant. All applicants should apply on behalf of a county (or a group of counties). Regional entities, such as Councils of Government, can apply on behalf of multiple counties, though the funds cannot exceed $5,000 for any one county, and they must include individual counties in their planning efforts. Applicants should include a list of community partners who are either involved in the project and/or actively supportive of the project and digital inclusion more broadly.
Apps are accepted on a rolling basis until Aug. 31!