Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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Administration's stimulus program gave a big push to the states with the State Broadband and Data initiative (part of ARR A-BTOP). Today the total funding, from eRate and the state, is around $120 million a year, with state funding around $19 million of that. In addition, MCNC (which operates NCREN for the state) and private businesses and telephone cooperative institutions were able to raise more than $260 million in capital funds for fber deployment to more community anchor institutions. Te Rural Internet Access Authority (2000), renamed the e-NC Authority (2002) worked with communities and private companies to encourage them to seek the funds. MCNC and NCREN used its own foundation funds and Golden Leaf Foundation (with funds from the tobacco settlement) added more than $20 million for a match. Tis allowed over $100 million for a middle mile fber network that now stretchs more than 2,900 miles across North Carolina. Not only is connectivity for all 2,700 schools funded by the state and eRate. Te schools and community colleges receive tech support and help with their on-campus and in-building network needs. Private sector companies still have contracts for wide area services to the schools within a school district. Health Care Fiber networks ofer real savings and better services in other areas as well. In 1987 we did a test with Dr. Julius Rosmund of the UNC Chapel Hill Hospital, connecting a remote supercomputer to an X-ray machine at Chapel Hill over a fber network. Rosmund's team got hundreds of results in seconds, on the best ways to treat specifc cancer cells, without moving radiology equipment around physically. IEEE Spectrum editors wrote it up in their special September 1994 Information Highway issue. Highway Patrol, prisons and courts can conduct hearings remotely, faster and at lower cost. NCIH led to expanded medical services from the start. Local health care departments can talk to state ofces in Raleigh. Prisoners get quick access to medical care. We were serving prisons that way even in the 1990s. At the New Hanover regional hospital in 1995, a dermatologist showed us a video of a woman who because of her medical history was routinely examined for melanoma. She had recently been examined in the doctor's ofce and cleared. But she agreed to demonstrate a remote exam a few weeks later for physician training. From four miles away the doctors saw a tiny melanoma on her shoulder. Te fber network made possible the use of a 3-chip high resolution camera with better acuity than the human eye. Many, many public and private entities, many technical folks and many professional people have all worked together to create the best connected state in the country…for community anchor institutions and for business and industry. But, we still must work diligently to continue to provide higher bandwidth capability to our homes in North Carolina. Students leave their schools for home and still need greater connectivity there. Forward together! In 1995, doctors remotely detected a melanoma over a fber network – fber allowed use of a camera with more acuity than a doctor's eye. BBC_Gatefold PagesDIGITALONLY_Jan14.indd 9 2/6/14 10:22 AM

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