MCNC, a non-profit technology corporation that owns and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), said that 22 community anchor institutions (CAIs) are now directly connected to its maintainedfiber-optic network facilities from Greensboro to Hamlet.
MCNC plans to host a celebration in appreciation of its project supporters on Tuesday, March 6 at Randolph Community College’s Continuing Education and Industrial Center (CEIC) in Asheboro, NC. Dr. Robert S. Shackleford, Jr, Randolph Community College president, and Jean Davis, MCNC president and CEO, will be among the guests at MCNC’s celebration.
With a network regeneration facility now located on campus, Randolph Community College is one of the most recent CAIs with direct connection to NCREN. The following CAIs are also directly connected to the network:
· Allen Public Library
· Asheboro City Schools
· Asheboro Public Library
· Currie Memorial Library
· Daymark Recovery Services - Randolph Center
· Daymark Recovery Services - Richmond Center
· Greensboro Central Public Library
· Guilford County Schools
· High Point Regional Physicians Network - Asheboro Cardiology
· High Point Regional Physicians Network - Asheboro Neurology
· Kemp Sugg Memorial Library
· NC State Highway Patrol Troop D District
· Randleman Public Library
· Randolph Community College
· Randolph County Schools
· Randolph Hospital, Inc.
· Richmond County Health Department
· Seagrove Public Library
· Star Public Library
· Thomas H. Leath Memorial Library
· Triad Math and Science Academy
· Uwharrie Charter Academy
MCNC applied for and received two U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) awards for a total of $104 million in 2010 (see “MCNC begins second phase rollout of Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative in North Carolina”).
It also raised $40 million in private matching funds required by the federal program. The funds were comprised of $24 million from the Golden LEAF Foundation, $8 million from the MCNC Endowment, $4 million from private-sector wholesale telecommunications company FRC, and approximately $4 million through land and existing conduit donations from the Albemarle Pamlico Economic Development Corporation, and other individual community colleges and universities. MCNC attests that no State of North Carolina funding was used.
In 2013, MCNC partnered with AT&T to design and deploy two new Internet access sites, and completed the NCREN expansion (see “AT&T to deploy Internet centers for North Carolina research and education network”). At present, the expansion encompasses 2,700 fiber network miles in 86 counties statewide. MCNC says demand from community institutions and private-sector service providers for connection to the network has increased since completion.
"MCNC's vast network, history of innovation and operational excellence gives our state a real competitive advantage to create opportunities for employment in economically-distressed or rural communities," said MCNC’s Davis. "With the help of Golden LEAF and many others, MCNC is bringing connectivity levels in North Carolina to all-time highs on broadband infrastructure that is reliable, affordable and incredible."
MCNC serves research, education, non-profit health care, and other community institutions with Internet connectivity in North Carolina. Using high-speed fiber on NCREN for customized Internet services and related customer applications, MCNC enables private service providers to deliver connectivity to rural and underserved North Carolina communities. NCREN is the primarybroadband infrastructure for over 500 of these institutions.
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