Recently, CommScope was selected by the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) to provide materials (such as fiber and conduit) related to the North Carolina Research Education Network’s (NCREN) Southeastern and Western North Carolina Fiber Expansion Project. This is a $39.9 million project that was kicked off in October with a groundbreaking ceremony at our corporate headquarters in Hickory attended by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue.

This project is being funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Recovery Funds, as is a similar project in Michigan for which CommScope has been chosen as a key supplier. In other words, a significant portion of the project is being funded using federal stimulus money to bring broadband services to rural underserved areas. While we can certainly debate the pros and cons of the federal stimulus package, what is not debatable are the long-term benefits this project has for North Carolina as a whole and particularly the western portion of the state.

CommScope was selected by the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) to provide materials (such as fiber and conduit) related to the North Carolina Research Education Network’s (NCREN) Southeastern and Western North Carolina Fiber Expansion Project. The NCREN project entails the installation of about 440 miles of fiber optic cables from Winston-Salem to Asheville and from Rocky Mount to Greenville. Once installed, the project will serve as the backbone to connect the state’s hospitals, schools, libraries and government centers. The video shows the conduit being put in the ground near the intersection of US Highway 321 and 13th Ave Drive NW in Hickory, NC on Friday, January 14, 2011.

 

 

As a lifelong resident of rural western North Carolina (we didn’t have access to cable until 1988—13 channels) and with two young children, I can appreciate the long-term benefits of this project and feel the cause is worthy. This project has the potential to improve broadband access to:

• more than 300,000 underserved families
• more than 1,200 elementary, middle and high schools
• 55 higher education facilities
• 183 public libraries
• 63 hospitals


That is why I am proud to be part of the NCREN project team. It is an amazing team comprised of CommScope employees from product management, customer service, sales, procurement, logistics and technical services with representatives across multiple business units. This program highlights CommScope’s ability to bring together capabilities across our company to provide a unique solution of services for our customer. First deliveries were made in early November and construction has begun.

 

Hopefully, soon everyone in North Carolina will have the same opportunity to connect and evolve.  This is one of the ways CommScope is helping people access—and benefit from— broadband services.
Join Us On Flickr!

 

Cable-In-ConduitCommScope cable-in-conduit is ready for installation during the first phase of the MCNC project that will bring broadband access to citizens who live and work in rural North Carolina.

 

About the Author

Eric Edwards

Eric Edwards joined CommScope in 2007. He works in Product Management for the Broadband Business Unit and is a member of the MCNC Project Team. He holds a BS in Economics from University of North Carolina-Charlotte and an MBA from Gardner Webb University.

See all posts by this author

Add Your Comment

Please submit your comment using the form below

 
(required)