[tweetmeme source="googleavl" only_single=false]The Golden Leaf foundation recently announced a $24 million grant for building out broadband networks in rural North Carolina counties. The grant is aimed to help secure $78 million in matching Federal funds – the combined total for this program is $111 million.
That is a large enough sum to install quite a bit of new fiber, but I’m not clear on the details of how the program operates or exactly what it will be helping to build out.
Several Western North Carolina counties are a part of the program, including Buncombe.
Are there any readers out there want to chime in and explain in more detail how these funds can help us build open access fiber networks in our area?
The Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative will greatly increase the broadband capacity and stabilize costs for 179 public school systems, community college campuses, libraries, universities, and other public institutions through direct connections to the existing North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). MCNC has operated NCREN for the last quarter century. In January 2010, MCNC received $40M in the first round of federal funding to build out NCREN in the southeast and western portion of North Carolina.
In addition to supporting key community anchor institutions, consumers and small businesses will benefit from agreements among MCNC and several private providers that will result in more broadband options for last-mile and wholesale connections.