Tuesday, January 19, 2010

MCNC Awarded $28.2 Million in Broadband Recovery Funds

MCNC, which operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), one of the nation's first statewide education and research networks, has been awarded $28.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Recovery Funds. NCREN provides broadband communications technology services and support to K-12 school districts, higher education campuses, academic research institutions, and public health facilities across the state.

MCNC raised $11.7 million in matching funds for its successful application through private sources, including $4 million from the MCNC endowment, making the total project a $40 million investment in North Carolina's broadband infrastructure.

MCNC will begin immediately to undertake the work of planning and building the new middle-mile fiber. Construction is expected to last up to three years. The new fiber build will be an essential element in North Carolina's plans to reach citizens and community anchor institutions that currently have limited broadband access.

Within the next 60 days, MCNC will issue several requests for proposal (RFP) for the design, construction and operation of the network. These RFPs have the potential to create more than 230 engineering/construction jobs.

The new fiber build will traverse 37 counties in southeastern and western North Carolina.

"We are pleased to learn of the BTOP award to MCNC," said Mike Murphy, chairman of the MCNC Board of Directors. "The 480 miles of new fiber throughout the western and southeastern part of North Carolina will ensure that our K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, university hospitals, and other community anchor institutions (libraries, public health) will have access to unlimited amounts of bandwidth now and into the future. All North Carolinians will benefit from the public/private partnership that created this application."https://www.mcnc.org/http://

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