Time Warner Cable Inc. has submitted its bid to become a partner in North Carolina's Next Generation Network initiative, a project to turn the Research Triangle area into one of the next gigabit communities in the U.S. (See FCC Prods More Cities to Go Big with 1-Gig)
Unlike other gigabit efforts, NCNGN (pronounced "NC Engine") combines six municipalities and four universities in a joint effort to drive deployment of an ultra-fast broadband network. Participants in the group will combine existing assets (such as excess fiber), determine specific regions of broadband demand, and agree on a common pricing plan. However, NCNGN has no interest in actually running a broadband network, and that's where Time Warner Cable comes in.
NCNGN released an RFP on Feb. 1 looking for partners in the provisioning of its gigabit network. Responses were due on April 1. So far Time Warner is the only company to announce its interest publicly.
Time Warner has a rocky history with municipal broadband in North Carolina, where it has lobbied for legislation to restrict muni-broadband deployments in the state. In the case of NCNGN, Time Warner Cable president Rob Marcus says, "With more than 6,600 employees and 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, Time Warner Cable has a vested interest in the region's continued success and development."
— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable