North Carolina governor sets universal broadband access goal for 2021

Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina, has set an ambitious broadband goal: universal statewide access by 2021. As of this year, McCrory claims that nearly 65 percent of the state's classrooms have access to a broadband connection and that number will increase to 100 percent by 2018.

Recent FCC data revealed that while 93 percent of North Carolina can get broadband through a combination of anchor institution networks, telcos, cable operators and municipal broadband, North Carolina's plan shows that a gap exists in rural communities.

Interestingly, the report argues that municipal networks like those built in Wilson and Salisbury, North Carolina aren't the right answer. Instead, the authors say that rural towns and municipalities should seek out partnerships with local telcos and cable operators. However, the reality is that most traditional providers have no interest in serving communities where they can't get a large return on their capital investment. NC state broadband report (PDF)