Rural communities in North Carolina struggle with broadband access in the age of COVID-19. (stock photo)

Jeff Sural, director of the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office and Dana Darden, Beaufort County parent talk with host Stephanie Carson about the issues with broadband access in many parts of the state.

According to the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office, 1.6 million families in the state cannot access or afford home internet.

On top of that 261,000 live in areas with no service providers.

It was a problem before the pandemic – but now it’s proving a real barrier as children seek education and parents try to maintain work during a global health crisis.

Gov. Roy Cooper recently announced the launch of several new initiatives that will provide service to thousands of households in rural countries. but even when providers sign on, it can take six months to two years to establish those connections.

And users say paying for high-speed access is no guarantee that providers in North Carolina will consistently have a high-quality product that means the demands of most users, including for educational purposes.

The problems were highlighted in a recent article by Carolina Public Press.

About The Kicker

The Kicker is a production of Carolina Public Press. Send an email to if you would like to contact the staff of Carolina Public Press about The Kicker.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may republish our stories for free, online or in print. Simply copy and paste the article contents from the box below. Note, some images and interactive features may not be included here.

Stephanie Carson is the former news and community partnerships manager at Carolina Public Press.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *