One of the primary drivers for the North Carolina Next Generation Network is to make high-speed Internet access available to a wider community of users. On Friday, another step in broader access will be taken as 250 computers are refurbished for donation.

The “GigaThon” name is playing off the NCNGN delivering Internet at up to gigabit speed to homes and businesses. Deploymnt begins this fall.

The Kramden Institute, which is based in Durham, has provided more than 15,000 computers to “hardworking, yet economically disadvantaged students” across the state since 2003. And its latest effort kicks off at its headquarters on Friday morning.

Some 250 PCs are to be updated and rebuilt with the help of AT&T and the NCNGN.

AT&T is the chosen provider for the NCNGN network, which will be fiber-optic based and built across much of the Triangle as well as part of the Triad. 

Key parts of AT&T’s commitment to be selected for the network is the provisioning of high-speed Internet to some 100 “community centers.”

Plus, AT&T will be providing free WiFi in selected areas.

The 250 PCs will be provided to communities participating in the NCNGN project.

N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and Wake Forest universities are part of the project as are the cities of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Cary and Winston-Salem.

The event takes place at 10 a.m. Friday and will feature Michael Abensour, the institute’s executive director, along with AT&T and local civic officials.