RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – MCNC, the operator of the statewide fiber-based North Carolina Research and Education Network is expanding its fiber footprint in four counties with the help of a $1.3 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

The counties:

  • Greene
  • Harnett
  • Johnston
  • Wayne

The project is estimated to cost $2.5 million and is already underway with completion scheduled for next year.

In addition to network upgrades across 138 miles of the network, MCNC plans to construct 18.5 miles of additional fiber.

MCNC remains focused on delivering the highest-quality connectivity services available to the public sector of North Carolina,” said MCNC President and CEO Jean Davis in the announcement. “North Carolina is a state of Internet haves and have nots. Once again, with the support of the Golden LEAF Foundation, we are able to reach our important agricultural-based communities and other rural areas of the state that need us the most and close the gap.”

Golden LEAF was the largest funder outside of federal grants for expansion of NCREN to a statewide reach in 2013.

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MCNC said it will connect a variety of public facilities to the expanded network, including ones operated by N.C. State, N.C. A&T, community colleges and state agencies.

Efforts also will be made to provide service to consumers in partnership with Internet Service Providers and Wireless Internet Service Providers.

Noted Golden LEAF Acting President Ted Lord: “This project will help break down the barriers to reliable broadband by connecting community anchor institutions and cooperative extension offices in these counties and by creating opportunities for residential providers to take advantage of this infrastructure to reach more people.”

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