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Last Edited: 04/28/12
Underserved Rural North Carolina Gets High Speed Internet Access

Thousands of citizens throughout rural North Carolina will now have the ability to surf the Internet via a high speed broadband connection thanks to MCNC’s completion and activation of 904 miles of fiber optic cable installed during phase 1 of the Golden Leaf Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI). Local Internet service providers will be able to link into this connection and will soon be able to offer high speed Internet service to their residential and business customers. This is the same high speed fiber optic connection that provides broadband access to K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, health care facilities, public health facilities, libraries and research institutions throughout western and southeastern North Carolina. (see progress map)

“This first phase of the project already is having a positive impact on student learning, patient outcomes in health care, economic outcomes in job creation and community development, and is accelerating innovation and research all across the state,” said MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso. “Our goal is to continue creating infrastructure that meets the advanced needs of research, education, and health care while stabilizing costs to consumers and small businesses in areas where affordable broadband currently isn’t available.”

Phase 1 of this project was funded with grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) along with private donations and investments including a $24 million from the Golden LEAF Foundation. 

In celebration, MCNC hosted its first online Twitter Town Hall on Friday, April 27 to answer questions about the GLRBI and the expansion of broadband connectivity in North Carolina. You can follow the tweets at @MCNC or @GLRBI.

Phase 2 is already well underway to provide an additional 1700 miles of fiber cable to more rural communities throughout North Carolina.  (see construction progress chart)

To learn more about MCNC and the Golden Leaf Rural Broadband Initiative click here.