Broadband infrastructure is the foundation to today’s highway of innovation.

These are the pipes of possibility. And, North Carolina’s high-speed pipeline now is pumping into areas of the state previously unimaginable or cost-effective, putting the state in prime position to lead in today’s broadband economy.

This state continues to set a national benchmark by leveraging assets like the North Carolina Research and Education (NCREN) to provide high-performance broadband connectivity in the public sector.

For more than three decades, technology non-profit MCNC in Research Triangle Park has operated NCREN to serve the constantly-growing bandwidth needs of community institutions in K-20 public and private education, non-profit health care, public safety, the state’s judicial branch of government, and federal, state and private research institutions.

Each year, MCNC recognizes and celebrates the progress and achievements from all over the state with NCREN Community Day. And, this year’s event is a special one for MCNC after celebrating huge connectivity milestones in 2013.

“With the recent completion of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative, we have a great opportunity to expand connections and grow to meet the bandwidth needs of our NCREN constituents,” said Todd Broucksou, senior director of NCREN community support. “This new infrastructure affordably and effectively removes the historic bandwidth restraints and connection barriers we’ve seen in the past to create what we like to call, ‘The Connected State.”’

The Connected State theme will highlight the cutting-edge work of NCREN users while also looking forward into the future of the rising broadband needs in health care, K-20 education, video, cloud computing, fiber expansion, shared services, and the role broadband plays in economic development and job creation.

Almost 250 top government, education, and technology industry leaders in North Carolina and throughout the country are expected to attend. Online registration is now live, and the complete event agenda will be available soon.

MCNC also will announce winners of the Community Choice Award and other community awards during the event.

Event sponsors this year include: Cisco Systems, Presidio, Time Warner Cable Business Class, DukeNet Communications, K&L Gates, mediasite by Sonicfoundry, Wells Fargo Insurance Services, and Assure Professional.