KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Faster internet is on the way for one county in Eastern North Carolina.
Duplin County is one of 69 counties across the state to receive part of the ‘Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology Grants’ (GREAT).
More than $4 million will help FOCUS Broadband install 72 miles of fiber across the county. They’re hoping to reach even the most rural areas so that they can have access to the internet, too.
Resident Sheri Norris grew up in Duplin County, so she knows that the internet can be pretty bad in some places.
“Fountaintown does not have hardly anything. There’s not very good internet service, like for streaming or for, you know, online banking and stuff like that, because my mom currently lives there,” said Norris.
So, she thinks this is great news for the community.
“I think it’s for the good because it is the future. And you know, you’ve got to be able to have something for everybody,” said Norris.
With the grant, FOCUS Broadband will be able to provide services to over 948 addresses across the county.
“There are a lot of uncovered areas in Duplin. County, as far as broadband internet coverage. And as you know, in the modern economy, access to high-speed internet is essential,” said Duplin County Manager Davis Brinson.
As the county manager explains, this will help the communities that need it the most.
“We have received previous great grants in other areas of the county, but this particular round will service areas in the Beulaville community, the Chinquapin community, the Cypress Creek township, and areas around the Cedar Fork, Fountaintown communities,” said Brinson.
Brinson also hopes by adding more coverage to the county, it will hopefully attract more people and businesses to the area.
“We’re hoping this is going to be an essential building block to our continuous efforts to help enhance our economy and grow our businesses and industries,” said Brinson.
And he’s not the only one thinking along those lines.
“Duplin County is a great place to live a great place to raise your children,” said Norris. “With adding the, you know, the internet, I think it was just it just was the icing on the cake.”
They’re hoping to begin installation within the next couple of months. To see the areas that will be impacted, click here.