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MCNC Launches 12 Days of Broadband in North Carolina

December 7, 2011

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — MCNC, the private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), announced today that the “12 Days of Broadband” kicks off tomorrow through Dec. 23 and highlights a dozen innovations directly impacted by the historic expansion of NCREN and high-speed broadband connectivity throughout the entire state in 2011.

Beginning Dec. 8 through Dec. 23, MCNC will showcase 12 unique innovations/applications or locations benefiting from high-speed access on NCREN as well as preview what’s to come in 2012.

MCNC currently serves 17 UNC System Institutions, 27 of 36 independent colleges and universities, 58 Community Colleges, 115 Local Education Agencies, and 20 Charter Schools. This year, MCNC expanded into healthcare and will serve 30 non-profit hospitals and 55 county health agencies and free clinics in the state by the middle of 2012.

“NCREN is the digital highway allowing North Carolinians to thrive in today’s globally interconnected society,” said MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso. “For example, having high-speed connectivity is often required to pursue, apply for, and obtain jobs. What MCNC has been able to do this year, and in the years to come, will provide the critical infrastructure for our communities and citizens to be successful in work and in life.”

MCNC currently is working on a $144 million expansion of NCREN scheduled to be completed by 2013. This initiative labeled the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) was made possible through two federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) awards and additional funding from the MCNC Endowment and others such as the Golden LEAF Foundation. No direct funding from the State of North Carolina was required.

The two BTOP grants awarded in 2010 represent the largest recorded investment in “middle-mile” broadband infrastructure in North Carolina history. The expansion of connectivity and services by MCNC through its operation of NCREN will benefit almost every citizen in every community throughout the entire state.

The first phase of the GLRBI project is near completion. The Round 1 build encompasses 37 counties located in southeastern and western North Carolina. The mileage breakdown has finalized as the following: 414 miles of new build; 291 miles of acquisition; and 197 miles of upgraded fiber. Construction on the second phase of the GLRBI began in July 2011 and is three-times the size of Round 1.

The GLRBI is part of a coordinated strategy developed by the Office of N.C. Governor Bev Perdue, the N.C. Office of Economic Recovery & Investment, and e-NC Authority to improve broadband access for businesses and residents in underserved areas. Once all work is complete, the two rounds of BTOP infrastructure have the potential to serve directly, or through MCNC partnerships with private-sector service providers, more than 1,500 community anchor institutions, 180,000 businesses, and reach more than 300,000 underserved families.

Follow the “12 Days of Broadband” online at www.mcnc.org or use #12days on Twitter and follow at @mcnc.

About MCNC
MCNC is an independent, non-profit organization that employs advanced Internet networking technologies and systems to continuously improve learning and collaboration throughout North Carolina’s K-20 education community. MCNC provides advanced communications technologies and support services that enable access to 21st century learning applications and offers the opportunity to improve teaching, learning, research, and collaboration among North Carolina’s education community. For a more than a quarter century MCNC has operated a robust, secure, exclusive communications network that has connected the institutions of the University of North Carolina System, Duke University and Wake Forest University to each other and through advanced research networks such as Internet2 and National Lambda Rail, to the world. Visit www.mcnc.org.

About NCREN Community
NCREN, operated by the non-profit organization MCNC, is one of the nation’s first statewide education and research networks. It provides broadband communications technology services and support to K-12 school districts, higher education campuses and academic research institutions across North Carolina. MCNC offers NCREN technology tools and services to guarantee equal access to 21st century learning by providing a future-proof technology network that is the foundation for change and innovation in our educational systems. In addition to all public school districts in North Carolina, the NCREN user-community now includes: 17 institutions of the UNC System and General Administration; 20 North Carolina Charter Schools, 27 of the 36 North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities; 58 North Carolina Community Colleges; research institutions and foundations; and, along with the N.C. Office of Information Technology Services and other partners, MCNC will provide broadband services for the Public Health and Non-Profit Hospitals Phases of the N.C. Telehealth Network in 2011 and beyond.

MCNC Online Resources
Visit the MCNC Website at www.mcnc.org.

Social: (Twitter) www.twitter.com/mcnc or (Facebook) www.facebook.com/pages/MCNC/129483158385

GLRBI Online Resources
For more information regarding all of MCNC’s BTOP activities, visit MCNC’s BTOP Central Web Space online.

You also can follow the progress of the GLRBI at www.twitter.com/GLRBI or www.facebook.com/GLRBI.
Questions? Please see our FAQ section regarding Round 2 construction questions, or contact us for more details.

Keywords and Tags
MCNC, NCREN, BTOP, ARRA, NTIA, Golden LEAF, GLRBI, distance learning, community anchor institutions, North Carolina, NC, RTP, Research Triangle Park, education, telehealth, telecom, broadband, Internet, web, 12 Days

Twitter Hashtags
#12Days #GLRBI #ncren #mcnc #btop #arra #ntia #broadband

Editorial Contacts
MCNC Communications Hotline: (919) 248.4105

Noah Garrett, NGC Communications, on behalf of MCNC: (252) 423.1277 or press@mcnc.org

SOURCE MCNC


Source: PR Newswire