North Carolina's Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) application for $28.1 million in broadband funding shows that state and local governments want to take an active role in extending services to the ‘unserved.' The state wants to leverage the funds to deploy ‘middle mile' fiber for the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), which currently provides broadband services to the state's K-12 school districts, colleges and academic research entities.
If MCNC receives the funding, it will build a 600-mile ‘middle mile' network to connect last-mile Central Offices (COs) with the Internet and advanced research networks. The proposed 'middle mile' network will provide broadband services to both business and residential customers in ‘unserved' areas in addition to enhancing the state's Health Internet Technology (HIT) initiative. Broadband services would be then delivered to end-users through a host of telco and cable operator partners. North Carolina's middle mile drive represents a growing trend in the broadband stimulus race. Wholesale operators Level 3 and 360Networks have begun offering ‘middle mile' services to last-mile service providers in their respective markets.
- see the official release via Reuters here