Monday, August 12, 2013

North Carolina Completes Golden LEAF Project

MCNC, the private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), officially completed the second and final phase of the $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI).


The Golden LEAF project deployed fiber connections at universities, community colleges, schools, health and safety facilities, libraries, county offices, and other community anchor institutions to a statewide network. 

NCREN now spans 2,600 miles across the state. The first phase of the project was completed in April 2012 with 957 total operated miles (442 of which were new construction). The second phase completed today was much larger with total operated miles at 1,696 (1,300 of being new).

MCNC said this historic project is having a positive impact on student learning, patient outcomes in health care, and is accelerating innovation and research all across the state. Community institutions now being served in the state include K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, health care facilities, public health facilities, libraries, research institutions, and other sectors. 

The GLRBI is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and significant matching funds from private donations and investments including a $24 million investment from the Golden LEAF Foundation and $10 million from the MCNC Endowment. No state funds were utilized as matching funds for the MCNC awards. 

Vendors and contractors for Round 1 included: Fiber Technologies, Globe Communications, Comtech, Cisco Systems, CommScope, and ONUG Communications. Participating vendors and contractors for Round 2 included: BroadPlex, Cisco Systems, CommScope, Comtech, ECC Technologies, Edwards Telecommunications, Fiber Technologies, Globe Communications, Kimley-Horn & Associates, and World Fiber Technologies.


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