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PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT

Broadband

Request for Information for High-Speed Internet/Broadband Services

The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments (UCPCOG) is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to gather information from service providers of high-speed internet/broadband services that may have an interest in attracting or expanding affordable, reliable high-speed internet access for residential, business, and/or government customers within Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, and Wilson Counties in northeastern North Carolina.

PLEASE SHARE THIS RFI WITH ANY INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS THAT MAY HAVE AN INTEREST. 

Any changes or revisions will be posted on this page. 

Change 1 (correction) II(b) Population 03/16/21: the RFI incorrectly states that Speed (pop. 79) is the region's municipal government with the smallest population.  Leggett (pop. 44) is the region's municipality with the smallest population. 

Change 2 Timeline: the deadline for questions has been extended to April 16, 2021 at 5PM. 

Submissions are due by 2:00pm April 20, 2021

For further information, please contact Ben Farmer at BFarmer@ucpcog.org or (252)-234-5966



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Regional Broadband Initiative

UCPCOG and its Regional Broadband Task Force received a $72,000 grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) to conduct a Regional Broadband Initiative with partners to better understand and address broadband challenges and opportunities for underserved communities across the Upper Coastal Plain five-county region.  

The initiative's scope of work includes:
  • Surveying local governments to determine current conditions, needs, goals, challenges, existing assets, and potential partnerships related to improving broadband infrastructure
  • Surveying public in communities across the region to more accurately determine needs, digital literacy, and more
  • Testing internet speeds in various locations throughout the region
  • Mapping broadband assets region-wide (public buildings, vertical assets, right-of-ways, planned/existing residential and commercial areas, and others)
  • Providing stakeholder and community educational and targeted, like webinars and workshops, to improve technical expertise, build relationships, support sound decision making, increase public demand, and more. 
The ultimate goal of the Regional Broadband Initiative is to attract or expand affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service across the region.

The UCP Broadband Task Force meets every other month and is open to representatives of all member local governments in the region.  Contact Ben for more information. 

You can view the Broadband Initiative press release here.
Community Survey

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Click the image above to take the survey!

Digital Inclusion Planning

UCPCOG and the Broadband Task Force are overseeing a regional digital inclusion planning process after receiving $20,000 from the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University's BAND-NC grant program. 

The digital inclusion plan will include unique digital inclusion elements for each of the five counties in the region.  The digital inclusion plan will be complete in February 2021 and will be used to guide future funding for digital inclusion projects identified at the county level.  View the press release here.


Broadband Training

On May 8, 2020, UCPCOG joined NC Hearts Gigabit to host a webinar aimed at providing a better understanding of the broadband connectivity landscape to member local governments.  You can watch the recording of that webinar and others from NC Hearts Gigabit at the links below:

Broadband 101+ with UCPCOG

Better Broadband with Better Data + the NC Context

Broadband Planning: From Vision to Action

For more broadband resources, visit the NC Hearts Gigabit web page.


Upper Coastal Plain Region featured on WRAL wral docDocumentary Disconnected

UCP Broadband Task Force members Montre Freeman (Town of Enfield) and Gene Scott (City of Wilson) were featured in WRAL's Disconnected.  This documentary highlights the region's challenges in obtaining or expanding adequate, affordable, and reliable high-speed internet. 
You can view the full documentary here

Regional Broadband Strategies

STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
  • Improve robust and affordable broadband access to un-served and underserved areas to meet present and future needs.
  • Establish a regional broadband task force.
  • Identify and prioritize areas where high speed internet and broadband for middle and last mile is needed.
  • Create opportunities to optimize return on public and private investments in broadband infrastructure that can improve broadband services in the region. 
  • Identify incentives (e.g. grants, loans, tax programs) to encourage greater private investment by the telecoms in the broadband infrastructure.
  • Allow for public investment in broadband infrastructure
See more from CEDS 2022 here.


Additional Broadband Resources


Areas of our region lack adequate broadband access.  High-speed broadband is a necessity for the development of resilient and successful communities.  It is required for businesses to thrive and ultra-high-speed broadband in critical to global competitivness.

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