They say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, something folks in North Carolina know well.

 

So when it came to connecting all that is great about the Old North State with modern, fiber-optic broadband technology, the founding communities of NC Broadband Matters knew the best way to do it was by breaking bread.

 

In late 2012, Wilson, North Carolina, the first Gigabit City in the state, organized a lunch meeting with thirty other communities to discuss how to get more fiber – optics, that is – and connect North Carolina’s communities to the world.

 

Meeting and eating got the group pretty far, but from the beginning this was always going to be about turning good talk into meaningful action. By December 2016, the vision for a more connected state had a name: NC Hearts Gigabit – a campaign that would build on the organizing power of statewide, grassroots energy, coupled with the dynamic entrepreneurs and techies behind Charlotte Hearts Gigabit, a successful effort that helped Charlotte nab Google Fiber.

 

In December 2017, NC Broadband Matters, Inc., a 501(c)3 was formed as the nonprofit coordinator of the NC Hearts Gigabit public education campaign. Through its web-based home, NCHeartsGigabit.com, and @NCHeartsGB, the NC Broadband Matters board and grassroots communities are uniting local vision and know-how with national players like the Coalition for Local Internet Choice and their forward-looking broadband agenda.

 

Vendor agnostic, NC Broadband Matters brings together local economic developers, technologists, internet service providers, municipal and state government representatives, data analysts, small business owners, employees and motivated citizens to develop strategies to improve local Internet service.

 

Through NCHeartsGigabit.com, we tell the stories of North Carolina communities building, financing and using gigabit broadband to network resilient local economies.  This work is re-energizing our state’s history of technology leadership and deepening our commitment to a healthy, vibrant future for all North Carolinians that offers full employment, protects our privacy, enables widely-shared prosperity, and restores local competitiveness through genuine regional growth strategies that facilitate strong communities of producers, innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses and emerging industries.

 

We invite you to join us! Local communities are the lifeblood of our state. Let's work together to make sure our friends and neighbors can keep living, working and playing in the places they love by making sure the technology they need – gigabit fiber access – is readily available, affordable and abundant.