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N.C. Governor Perdue Announces Application for $28.1 Million in Broadband Recovery Funding

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News J E 4
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RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 3 North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that MCNC has applied to receive $28.1 million in broadband recovery funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support fiber acquisition for the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) in North Carolina.

MCNC's application, submitted on Aug. 17 (prior to the Aug. 20 filing deadline) was coordinated through the N. C. Office of Economic Recovery & Investment and endorsed by the entire North Carolina delegation to the United States Congress.

The application is part of a coordinated strategy to improve broadband access for businesses and residents in underserved areas and enhance feasibility of Health Internet Technology (HIT) initiatives across the state, resulting in improved access to health services.

MCNC is an independent, non-profit organization employing advanced networking technologies and systems to continuously improve learning and collaboration throughout North Carolina's K-20 education community. MCNC operates NCREN, one of the nation's first statewide education and research networks. NCREN provides broadband communications technology services and support to North Carolina's K-12 school districts, higher education campuses and academic research institutions, with an equitable educational experience across the state as its goal.

"NCREN is of great importance to public education in North Carolina, serving over two million students across the state with vital broadband access," said Gov. Perdue. "This proposal allows North Carolina to leverage the existing NCREN to create more robust access for our schools, libraries and public health facilities, while also reaching our underserved citizens."

If approved, MCNC plans to use the economic recovery funds to build a network of more than 600 miles of new middle-mile fiber, an essential element in North Carolina's plans to reach citizens and community anchor institutions (schools, community colleges, other institutions of higher education, and community support organizations) who currently have limited broadband access. Underserved citizens will be reached through commercial telecommunications and cable providers with whom MCNC has formed partnerships.

The middle-mile is the sector of the network that connects last-mile facilities such as telecom company local interconnection points (central offices) with the commercial Internet and with national and global advanced research networks.

The network has the potential to serve more than 1,500 anchor institutions, 180,000 businesses, and more than 300,000 underserved families. In addition, the MCNC application has been coordinated closely with other applications for federal economic recovery funds in North Carolina, including those in the areas of health care and education.

MCNC's application for ARRA recovery funds was tendered to the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Broadband Initiatives Program. The BTOP program requires a 20-percent funding match on the part of the applicant.

MCNC raised the matching funds for its application through private sources, thus no state funds are required in the MCNC application. The design, construction, and operation of the network are estimated to have the potential to create more than 230 engineering/construction jobs.

About MCNC

MCNC is an independent, non-profit organization that employs advanced networking technologies and systems to continuously improve learning and collaboration throughout North Carolina's K-20 education community. MCNC provides advanced communications technologies and support services that enable access to 21st century learning applications and offers the opportunity to improve teaching, learning, research and collaboration among North Carolina's education community. For almost a quarter century, the 501(C)3 non-profit organization, MCNC, has operated a robust, secure, exclusive communications network that has connected the institutions of the University of North Carolina System, Duke University and Wake Forest University to each other, and through advanced research networks such as Internet2 and National Lambda Rail, to the world.

About NCREN

The North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) is one of the nation's first statewide education and research networks. It provides broadband communications technology services and support to K-12 school districts, higher education campuses and academic research institutions across North Carolina. MCNC offers the NCREN network, technology tools and services to guarantee equal access to 21st century learning by providing a future-proof technology network that is the foundation for change and innovation in our educational systems. It creates possibility and provides an equitable educational experience throughout the state.

MCNC Mailing Address P.O. Box 12889 Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709 Physical Address 3021 Cornwallis Road Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709 (Phone) 919-248-1900 (Fax) 919-248-1101 www.mcnc.org MCNC Editorial Contact April Connery MCNC Communications Associate 919-248-4105 aconnery@mcnc.org

SOURCE MCNC
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