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Last Edited: 08/31/11
Rural Broadband Initiative Set to Expand Coverage to Underserved Areas in NC

A virtual ceremony recently marked the start of construction on Round 2 of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) that will build an additional 1200 miles of “middle-mile” fiber network around the state. When completed, it will have the capacity to provide high speed Internet access to many underserved rural areas of our state. GLRBI was funded by combined donations, investment and major grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), the Golden LEAF Foundation, MCNC and FRC/PalmettoNet.

MCNC, the private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) has been the major driver of the project and will be managing the expansion. When completed, it will greatly expand the reach of NCREN in northeastern, north central, western and south central North Carolina. MCNC currently serves the backbone Intranet and Internet network needs of K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, university hospitals and other community anchor institutions (libraries, public health).  MCNC has received letters of endorsement from five last-mile providers: Spirit Telecom, Norland, ClearTalk Wireless, ERC Broadband and Balsam West, who will add their “last-mile” to the network to reach underserved consumers and commercial businesses.

To see the planned network and monitor its progress click here.

To read MCNC’s press release, click here.