MCNC completed the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI last month, and highlights of the event have been compiled into a video salute. 

To celebrate this historic achievement, the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) held a celebration simultaneously from four locations on Aug. 12 at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, UNC Charlotte, Elizabeth City State University, and the MCNC campus in Research Triangle Park.

Video of the entire event is available in the MCNC Video Archives. But, for a quick highlight reel, the organization has produced a video this week highlighting remarks from keynote speakers.

Appearances in the video include: N.C. Governor Pat McCrory; MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso; Golden LEAF Foundation President and CEO Dan Gerlach; Laura Dodson, Director of Broadband Technology Programs at the U.S. Department of Commerce; Peter Karlsson, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at CommScope; U.S. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers; U.S. Congressman David Price; Jack Cecil, President of Biltmore Farms; N.C. Representative Jason Saine; Elizabeth City Mayor Joseph Peel; Jillian Nelson, a senior at John A. Holmes High School; ERC Broadband General Manager Hunter Goosmann; Robert Gaines, Special Assistant to the Chancellor at Elizabeth City State University; Trey McMillian, Vice President of Information Services at Vidant Health; Thomas Karl, Director of the National Climatic Data Center; RST Global Communications Co-Founder Dan Limerick; and MCNC Chairman of the Board Tom Rabon.

The first phase of the GLRBI was completed in April 2012. The second phase completed on Aug. 12.

NCREN is now a fiber-based network that is more than 2,600 miles spanning the entire state.

The project was funded through grants from U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and significant matching funds from private donations and investments including a $24 million investment from the Golden LEAF Foundation and $10 million from the MCNC Endowment.

Due to added investments from MCNC, more than 100 percent of the project grant value was expended with private-sector companies doing engineering, outside plant equipment, optical gear, and construction, all of which were based in North Carolina or have a significant presence in the state.

No state funds were utilized as matching funds for either of MCNC’s awards.