MCNC Picks Fiber Contractors

MCNC selects contractors for Round 2 of Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative

April 13, 2011

2 Min Read

RTP, N.C. -- MCNC and its northwestern North Carolina project sub-recipient ERC Broadband (ERC), announced today that three companies have been selected to construct 1,200 miles of new fiber optics as part of the second phase expansion of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). The construction award shared by these vendors is estimated at $40 million. The entire expansion of NCREN, called the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI), has an estimated project cost of approximately $146 million.

Three experienced fiber optic construction firms (Globe Communications, Fiber Technologies, and Edwards Telecommunications) were selected for this second phase of the project. Three vendors are required for this phase of the project because of the size and scope - nearly four-times larger than Round 1. Each vendor demonstrated during the competitive bid process the necessary experience and qualifications to help complete the overall project by July 2013.

Edwards Telecommunications is a full-service telecommunications contractor based in Columbia, S.C. Fiber Technologies, a Quanta Services Company, is based in Loganville, Ga., with more than 35 years of telecommunications construction experience. Fiber Tech also was selected by MCNC for Round 1 construction and currently is working on about 200 miles of fiber installation in western North Carolina. Globe Communications in Durham also was chosen for work in Round 1 and is currently building segments totaling about 220 miles in southeastern North Carolina.

MCNC began seeking proposals from qualified construction and splicing contractors for Round 2 in January 2011. The total second phase project cost of $106 million was funded by two sources. A federal grant of $75.75 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) awarded to MCNC in August 2010. This federal investment was matched by $31.25 million in privately-raised funds including $24 million from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The majority of the project funds will be spent with private-sector engineering, construction, materials, and technology companies who will assist with the build.

MCNC Research & Development Institute

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