Editor’s note: RTP Beat is a regular feature on Thursdays.Budget cuts from the General Assembly may eliminate the remaining $2.5 million MCNC’s networking and supercomputing business unit receives from the state.

The House has approved the $2.5 million cut, but the Senate has not, says Yokima Cureton, a spokesperson for MCNC. Although it’s uncertain if the full cut will be realized, MCNC is expecting a percentage of the $2.5 million, says Cureton.

In 2001, the state slashed by more than half the $9 million designated specifically for supercomputing funding. Last year, more cuts were made, and MCNC received $2.3 million. The nonprofit provides high-powered computing and networking services to research institutes statewide.

The business says it will continue to rely on plan A: $1.2 million in contributions from NC State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Since National Science Foundation (NSF) data shows that the overwhelming majority of research money into North Carolina comes through its universities, MCNC fears the budget cut will make it difficult for universities to collaborate with out-of-state research institutions. That in turn may hinder the ability of universities to bring federal dollars into the state.

All wired up

Two North Carolina cities, Charlotte and Raleigh, have made the list of the top 10 “Broadband Wired Cities” in a recent survey by AOL for Broadband. According to the company’s first-ever survey of broadband use, San Francisco topped the list, followed by Tampa, Boston, and Houston, respectively. Charlotte came in fifth, while Raleigh placed eighth. Los Angeles and New York City beat the Triangle but still fell behind banking mecca Charlotte. Orlando and Seattle rounded out the top 10 list.

The online survey, which was conducted in March, included nearly 3,600 adults in 18 markets throughout the country and was conducted by Opinion Corporation International. The survey’s ranking was based on an index of several key factors: the number of people using broadband connections at home and the amount of time they have had them, the number of people who intend to get broadband in the next 12 months, the number of hours individuals with broadband spend online, and the variety of online activities in which they participate.

No Webby ‘show’

Here’s an update on the seventh annual Webby Awards: The June 5 awards ceremony has been bagged. If Art.com, the online retailer of prints, posters and custom framing that has been nominated for best commerce Website, takes home first place it will be a virtual experience. The awards ceremony that typically takes place in San Francisco has moved its venue to the Internet, citing concerns about traveling, world events and the economy. HowStuffWorks.com also has been nominated.

Almost 90 percent of this year’s nominees hail from outside the San Francisco Bay Area, with 24 international nominees from countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand. It’s still uncertain how the awards will be unveiled.