Jean Davis, CEO at MCNC, talks about each of the five major points that are at the heart of the new strategic plan designed to make North Carolina “the Most Connected State” by 2020.

MCNC unveiled the four-year strategic initiative last week. This is the second of a two-part Q&A with Davis about the plan.

1. “Provide excellent and expanding service to MCNC’s existing North Carolina community of K-20 Education, Local Community Anchor Institutions, and Non-Profit Healthcare, and State and Local Governments.”

Over the last 30 years, MCNC has consistently been a leader in Internet technology growth, development, and deployment.

Our objectives in this area are to continue providing services with operational excellence, fostering relationships with state and local government, further expand and enhance how we meet the needs of our existing customer sectors, and appropriately managing a wide range of new cyber security risks.

This framework will guide our commitment to MCNC’s mission and to meet the evolving needs of our community members.

2. Make North Carolina the most connected state in the nation by addressing rural broadband connectivity.

Success in rural broadband deployments does not simply mean installing fiber optic networks in rural areas. These communities need active partners, assisting them in finding construction and consulting services, facilitating network design discussions, providing support in finding creative funding mechanisms, providing the backbone network, and supporting commercial service providers in providing last-mile services.

MCNC uniquely understands this complex environment. It is both a customer and a provider of telecom services. Through its services provided to education, health care, and other community anchor institutions, MCNC has developed expertise in the technology, funding sources, stakeholders and policies related to broadband adoption.

3. Support North Carolina’s ability to provide the most robust next generation public safety network in the nation.

Two major public safety initiatives are underway in North Carolina that aim to modernize communication among law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency medical services and the general public.

The state’s Next Generation 9-1-1 system will modernize call handling and capability moving from analog to digital technology.

The federal FirstNet system will replace voice-only radios that often are only compatible with local systems with “smart” radios that are compatible nationwide.

The common requirement of these two initiatives is an advanced statewide network linking public safety locations. With our broad and robust fiber network, and current services to customers in the health care and education sectors, MCNC is well positioned to provide infrastructure services to public safety.

4. Support the educational transformation in North Carolina via infrastructure and technology services.

NCREN unites all layers of education in the state for greater opportunity and administrative efficiency. MCNC supports broadband connectivity for all 115 K-12 public school districts in North Carolina, more than 100 charter schools, and a growing number of K-12 private schools.

Since 2010, MCNC has worked with the North Carolina Community College System and the N.C. Department of Information Technology to integrate a full range of IP-based technologies to serve all 58 campuses. NCREN also is the high-speed foundation for more than 50 universities and colleges in North Carolina, and each is increasingly integrating broadband-dependent technologies into curriculum and administration for students, faculty, and staff both on and off campus.

Identifying appropriate technology, developing the technology into viable services, and operating those services will require a collaborative, innovative approach. MCNC is ideally suited to coordinate and aggregate these activities and to be “first to market” with new, enabling services.

5. Expand stakeholder engagement in MCNC’s constituent community

MCNC is guided by values in innovation, economic development, relationships with state and local government, thought leadership, and security solutions. MCNC will continue its commitment to providing operational excellence in all of its work.

Operational excellence includes providing high capacity and highly reliable and secure services to our end users, top quality internal systems for managing that service and relationships with the customer, and reporting the status of our services in a clear and transparent manner.

MCNC is proud to be considered a thought leader and convener in the local, state, and national networking community.