WILMINGTON – Managed services and internet provider CloudWyze will expand broadband service to more than 8,600 homes in Edgecombe, Harnett, Johnston, Martin, and Nash Counties, the company announced this week.

And to do so, the company landed an $18,423,751 grant from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology through the 2022 Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program.

“We are thrilled about the GREAT Grant funds and excited for all North Carolinians, especially those who have lived without access to high-speed internet service,” said Shaun Olsen, the founder and CEO of CloudWyze, in a statement.  “We have endless gratitude for our county partners and everyone who has helped us drive our mission of connectivity in our state’s rural communities.”

Including the grant awarded to CloudWyze, more than $206 million in grant money was allocated to companies that can boost broadband access and connectivity in 69 North Carolina Counties.  In total, through the most recent grants, 85,000 North Carolina households and 2,400 businesses will gain access to high-speed internet connections.

Previous to that $206 million, there had been more than $260 million in GREAT Grants awarded to providers, according to a statement from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s office.

North Carolina still seeking to enhance broadband access, connectivity, statewide

Harnett County project begins

CloudWyze’s project in Harnett County will begin in October, according to Brent Trout, the Harnett County Manager.  In a statement, Trout said that “access to quality internet service is becoming almost as important as electricity to our residents, so we are excited to see phase one of the project begin in October.”

The company, too, indicated that its customers in Harnett County may expect to have service installations “by October 2022” in a statement last month.

CloudWyze is a participant in the Affordable Connective Program that provides $30/month discounts on customer’s internet bills, it noted in a statement.

The company, based in Wilmington, raised $650,000 in 2020 from nine investors.  It had received a grant in 2019 and in 2020, reported by WRAL TechWire.  CloudWyze was founded in 2002.

“We want to offer digital equity to all North Carolina residents,” Olsen said in a statement.

Wilmington tech startup CloudWyze raises $650,000 in equity