Amid announcements that Embarq is rolling out 10MB x 896k DSL after an extended test period in Las Vegas, Embarq has a Digital Divide Deal with NC.
e-NC, which is chartered to help bring high-speed Internet access from Manteo to Murphy, awarded Embarq a contract to expand its high-speed network in Warren and three other counties. They were the only counties left where less than half their populations could access the Net at high speed..... Embarq won the deal through a competitive bid process. As part of the deal, Embarq agreed to match state funding of $1.21 million that was made available to the e-NC by the North Carolina General Assembly. [wral]
The article also lists the counties with the lowest broadband penetration -- opportunities for ISP's and CLEC's, especially with wireless broadband. "The counties targeted by e-NC are Warren, Jones, Gates and Greene."
e-NC reported that "more than 83 percent of North Carolina households can sign on for broadband access to the Internet." However, "e-NC’s statistics do not take into account wireless Internet availability." [wral]
Finally, Embarq has launched a Text-to-Landline service. "With this service, all EMBARQ Wireless customers can send text messages to any landline phone in the U.S." [source]