Broadband produces ‘Big Thinking’ in North Carolina
NCREN Community Day 2012 at Elon University highlights current,
future efforts of high-speed connectivity in state
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Noah Garrett, NGC Communications, on behalf of MCNC: (252) 423.1277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ELON, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2012) – MCNC, the private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), today announced that more than 200 educators, researchers, government officials, and business leaders from all over North Carolina gathered at Elon University on Thursday and Friday to “think big” about the future of high-speed Internet, networking, and the applications broadband enables during NCREN Community Day 2012.
Each year, MCNC recognizes and celebrates the progress and achievements from all over the state with NCREN Community Day. This year's “think big” theme highlighted both the current work of network constituents as well as the future of big data and broadband, health care, K-20 education, video, cloud computing, fiber expansion, shared services, and the role broadband plays in economic development and job creation in North Carolina.
"North Carolina continues to set a national benchmark by leveraging NCREN to provide high-performance broadband connectivity in the public sector, and we are nearly finished with the surmounting challenge of building an owned, statewide optical fiber network to become the new and advanced NCREN."
President and CEO
MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso provided an update on the $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative, noting the second phase of the project is 90 percent complete with the overall project scheduled to be finished in spring 2013. He also challenged attendees to think about what this historic expansion of NCREN will mean for the state.
“North Carolina continues to set a national benchmark by leveraging NCREN to provide high-performance broadband connectivity in the public sector, and we are nearly finished with the surmounting challenge of building an owned, statewide optical fiber network to become the new and advanced NCREN," Freddoso said. "This new infrastructure affordably and effectively removes bandwidth restraints from how we conduct public service, education, health care, and economic development in North Carolina. So, now it is time to 'think big' on how we use it."
MCNC also announced the winners of this year’s annual NCREN Community Awards.
The Robyn Render Endeavor Award was presented to James P. Gogan, director of networking at UNC Chapel Hill. This year’s Empower Award recipient was Nash Community College Chief Information Officer Jonathan Vester. And, Lee Sartain, education policy specialist at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State University, received this year’s Community Choice Award, which was based on popular vote.
Event highlights on the first day included two workshops on grant writing and social media. Janna Anderson, associate professor of communications at Elon University, presented research from the nationally-recognized Imagining the Internet Center, which she also oversees. Meg Lowman, director of the Nature Research Center at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, showcased how connectivity is aiding in research projects all over the world. Mladen Vouk, associate vice provost for IT at N.C. State University, talked about the exciting work to virtualize Centennial Campus through cloud-based services and applications. Paul Jones, director of ibiblio.org and clinical associate professor at UNC Chapel Hill, presented on how email isn't necessary today; a talk that participants selected from a Doodle Pol prior to the event.
Congratulations to the
2012 Award Recipients
Robyn Render Endeavor Award:
James P. Gogan
Empower Award: Jonathan Vester
Community Choice Award: Lee Sartain
The second day started with Business with Bacon with MCNC staff and moved into a panel discussion on the history and evolution of MCNC. Dr. Steve North of Bakersville Community Medical Clinic presented on the work surrounding rural school-based telemedicine for students which led into a legislative panel discussion featuring North Carolina Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, Jr. and Rep. Linda Johnson. Jonathan Vester, Chief Information Officer at Nash Community College, closed out the day discussing video services and now these capabilities are extending today’s modern classrooms.
This year's sponsors included: Cisco Systems, DukeNet Communications, Presidio, mediasite by Sonicfoundry, K&L Gates, Time Warner Cable Business Class, CommScope, ePlus, Wells Fargo Insurance, WRAL Tech Wire; and special thanks to the year’s host, Elon University.
Photos from the two-day event as well as this year’s award winners are available on MCNC’s Facebook Page.