Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – MCNC has landed another $75.8 million in federal funding that will help with a second stage of expansion for the statewide North Carolina Research and Education Network.

operates NCREN, which connects colleges, universities, school districts and state agencies.

Golden LEAF pledged $24 million toward the second stage of NCREN’s growth.

"The areas of the state covered by the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative continue to transition their economies to compete globally,’ said Golden LEAF’s President Dan Gerlach. "The Golden LEAF Foundation’s Board of Directors viewed the investment in the GLRBI as an opportunity to provide essential infrastructure, take advantage of federal matching dollars, and invest directly in efforts to grow stronger communities."

As part of a required federal match, MCNC also raised more than $5 million from private sector partners, through donations and from the MCNC foundation.

MCNC already is working on the first stage of spreading broadband under a first round of funding awarded earlier this year.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced the MCNC funding Wednesday.

"This approximately $75.8 million award will allow MCNC to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in 69 of the most economically disadvantaged rural counties along the northern and southern borders of North Carolina. The project plans to directly connect 170 community institutions to broadband. As many as 5.1 million stand to benefit as do 160,000 businesses," Perdue’s office said.

Another $30 million in projects also were announced by Perdue.

“Increasing broadband access will create new jobs up front and provide a boost for local economies to create even more jobs and a better quality of life in the near future,” Perdue said in a statement. “These improvements are especially important in rural and underserved areas of North Carolina.”

For more about the other projects,

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