MCNC, the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), says that as it starts a new fiscal year with growing revenue and employee base it is ready to bring broadband connectivity levels in the state to all-time highs.

NCREN is North Carolina’s community anchor network and one of the largest statewide fiber networks of its kind in the United States. Now at 2,600 miles touching virtually every county in the state, MCNC delivers affordable broadband connections to world-renowned research facilities, non-profit health care sites, government and public safety agencies, and to millions of students and educators throughout the state. In total, MCNC now provides technology services to more than 500 community anchor institutions in North Carolina.

Financially, MCNC reports revenue continues to grow year-over-year with projected revenues for FY 2016-2017 estimated at $51 million by June 30, 2017. That gives MCNC the means to successfully re-invest back into NCREN and make the network more robust for customers.

Doubles employee count

Over the last decade, MCNC has expanded NCREN through the $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative while also investing nearly $32 million in organizational resources without the use of state tax dollars in the proper upkeep of NCREN.

MCNC has nearly doubled in size to 80 employees.

This year, MCNC hired two new executives. Andy Gilbert was named MCNC’s senior director of Services Development, and Laura A. Cline was selected as director of Human Resources.

Gilbert brings more than 30 years of experience in IT management and business development previously working with firms such as Alphanumeric Systems Inc., Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas, and Rex Healthcare. Cline joins MCNC after holding previous senior HR positions with R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company as well as Alliance HealthCare Services and Pepsi Bottling Ventures.

“Access to high-speed Internet in North Carolina is now a fundamental part of any plan to improve a community’s overall quality of life,” said MCNC President and CEO Jean Davis. “As history shows us, we can accomplish anything with the right combination of tools and leadership. And, MCNC is committed to leading and providing the technology and expertise to connect North Carolina in new and smart ways.”

MCNC works with existing and future NCREN customers to identify and meet broadband, network services, and application needs by partnering with top service and application providers to develop, deploy, and sustain solutions for NCREN connectors.

NCREN users today include (but are not limited to:

  • The UNC System, serving more than 220,000 students across 16 university campuses;
  • The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics;
  • About 75 percent of North Carolina’s Independent Colleges and Universities;
  • All 115 North Carolina public K-12 school districts serving 1.4 million students; more than half of the active K-12 charter schools in North Carolina and growing;
  • All 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System, serving more than 850,000 students; research institutions and foundations such as the N.C. Biotechnology Center, Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) as just a few examples;
  • The N.C. Highway Patrol, and more than 130 public health clinics and not-for-profit hospitals across North Carolina.

Since the organization’s new fiscal year began on July 1, MCNC has set forth five strategic priorities for broadband access in North Carolina through 2020: Steered by innovation, economic development, security, relationships with state government and thought leadership, MCNC is working to make North Carolina the most connected state in the the next four years by focusing on connecting more rural communities and areas of the state, providing service excellence, supporting the activation of a next-generation public safety network throughout the state, supporting North Carolina’s digital transformation, and increasing overall NCREN community engagement.