The Rural Internet Access Authority (RIAA) is accepting proposals for $2.5 million in grants to support technology efforts in ruralcommunities across North Carolina.

The RIAA is the group leading the e-NC Initiative to connect all NorthCarolinians to the Internet. The deadline to apply for this latest round of proposals is Oct. 15.

As part of its e-communities program, the RIAA is accepting proposals for grants to help counties implement planned technology efforts, primarily those developed during the planning phase of e-communities. The e-communities program is a community outreach effort designed to galvanize community support for and involvement in bringing high-speed Internet access and training to all areas of the state.

Those eligible to apply include educational institutions and systems,
nonprofit and for-profit organizations, public sector agencies, and units of government serving North Carolina’s 81 designated e-communities. Those serving the Eastern Band of the Cherokee also are eligible to apply for funding.

The RIAA says it expects to announce grant awards in November.

To obtain an application, visit the “What’s New” section of the authority’s Web site, click on “E-communities Implementation Grants,” and download the request for proposals, or call 1-866-NCRURAL.