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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – MCNC recently announced that it will fully support the collaborative efforts of many state, local and federal actors to ensure North Carolina maximizes the unprecedented opportunities now available for equity and inclusion investments in broadband and digital.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo was in Durham earlier this month to announce the launch of the Internet for All initiative, which will invest $45 billion provide reliable and affordable high-speed Internet access to everyone in America by the end of the decade. The initiative will be administered and implemented by the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Over the past 40 years, MCNC has served as a convener and essential collaborator to strengthen relationships with all key stakeholders to expand connectivity, increase innovation and support economic development in North Carolina. President and CEO of MCNC Tracy Doaks recently participated in roundtables with NTIA, county and local municipalities, and other public/private collaborators, including commercial service providers, which focused on getting the right leaders in the same room to advance the state.
“There is strength and unity through collaboration, and this is a unique opportunity for North Carolina“said Doaks. “The mission of the MCNC is to strengthen North Carolina the future by making secure, high-speed internet and technology services more accessible to everyone. Now is our time! By working together, every citizen of the state will get the resources they need to fully participate in today’s digital economy.
MCNC continues to be the trusted technology nonprofit that serves North Carolina, providing statewide fiber optic backbone, broadband connectivity, consulting, cybersecurity, data center, network engineering and other services to community anchor institutions , non-profit organizations and commercial suppliers. Customers include education, nonprofit healthcare, libraries, state and local governments, research, public safety organizations, and more. The Internet for All initiative will build Internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide the technology needed to ensure that everyone in America — including communities of color, rural communities, and older Americans — has the access and the skills they need to fully participate in today’s society. .
The Internet for All program was launched with three funding opportunity notices:
Nearly two-thirds of states and territories have signaled their intention to obtain a share of the new $45 billion broadband funds. On May 17, North Carolina Govt. Roy Cooper sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce stating North Carolina intention to participate, request $5 million in initial planning funds for the state – one of the first states to do so. Governor Cooper has designated the Broadband and Digital Equity Division of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology as the recipient and administrative agent of the BEAD program awards. Other states and territories have up to July 18 to signal their intent to apply for funding.