Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Georgia Firm Completes Broadband Work in Outer Banks
“The impact of the MCNC projects on the future of rural North Carolina will be significant, particularly in eastern North Carolina where this infrastructure is sorely needed. This fiber will mean better access to education, more efficient and effective health care and economic opportunity for our citizens,” commented Gene Conti, North Carolina Secretary of Transportation.
Using fiber manufactured by CommScope in Hickory, N.C., World Fiber placed 12 miles of 288-strand fiber-optic cable along the five bridges. The bridge hanger support materials were custom manufactured in the United States to ensure proper fit. This also was an opportunity for World Fiber to follow the “Buy American Clause” stimulating the economy through local material procurement and production.
“It’s vitally important to World Fiber to promote economic growth while also connecting rural communities with state of the art fiber-optic cable that makes the transfer of Internet, video, voice, and data communication less expensive and more reliable,” said World Fiber President and CEO Mark Battle. “It was a true honor to have been selected for this crucial project and a pleasure to work closely with the NCDOT and MCNC to further expand the GLRBI.”
The first phase of the GLRBI was complete on April 27 and included 904 total miles, of which 414 was new construction in western and southeastern North Carolina. Round 2 encompasses 1,700 miles overall, of which 1,338 miles is new construction. In eastern North Carolina, the fiber loop will run from Roanoke Rapids east to Dare County and then back to Rocky Mount. Initially, the fiber will link area schools, colleges, libraries, and other community anchor institutions in facilitating improved Internet access and more capacity for online learning. A portion of the fiber will be available for use by local service providers to improve connectivity in the area.
Northeast Rural Broadband is working with GLRBI fiber marketing partner ECC Technologies and stakeholders in each county of the region to use the new capacity to expand access for unserved and underserved households and to maximize the economic development potential of the fiber loop.
“Improving internet access for the education, health care, and other community anchor institutions served by NCREN is our main goal with the project,” said MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso. “We also are working with local leaders like Northeast Rural Broadband and for-profit broadband service providers to extend robust broadband access to areas of the state lacking the broadband infrastructure to scale to their future needs.”
“This is an opportunity for northeast North Carolina to make an economic and social jump forward,” added Paul Tine, board member of Northeast Rural Broadband.
Installation was completed quickly to minimize impact on bridges during the height of tourist season on the Outer Banks. The next step in the project will be to link the bridge installations with the fiber installed underground.
The entire GLRBI project is on track to be completed by first quarter of 2013 and operational by summer 2013.
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