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Broadband access Broadband in WNC Rural

MCNC and Facebook Combine to Provide Rural NC Counties with High-Speed Internet Access

On Tuesday, 28 January, MCNC—the operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN)—and Facebook announced that they are joining forces to offer high-speed broadband to nearly 30 communities in Rutherford, Burke, Caldwell, Wilkes, and Surry counties.  Read more

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Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Economic Development

The 2020 WNC Regional Leadership Summit on Broadband

Over 100 regional leaders–from state, county, and city government; from area universities and colleges; and from local business communities–met at UNC Ashveille on Monday, 27 January, to discuss issues surrounding broadband infrastructure and access in Western North Carolina. To read more about the Summit, visit WLOS News 13.

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Broadband access Broadband Technology

The New Outlook for Satellite-Based Internet

This past December, the United Nations reported that more than half of the world’s population–almost 4 billion people–are still without internet access. According to the FCC’s Eighth Broadband Report, 6% of Americans lack access to high-speed internet at “threshold speeds,” and one-fourth of rural residents lack any service. Many in the tech industry, however, have pointed to improved satellite-based internet as a means of providing affordable high-speed service to those who have been excluded. As CNN Business reports, Elon Musk’s SpaceX project Starlink may be the first effort in satellite-based internet that has a shot of being both technologically feasible and economically viable. Read more

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Community Development Economic Development Rural

The value and cost of broadband access: the lessons of two stories

Leslie Boney, the Director of the NC Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) and organizer of ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity, a five-city initiative to expand access to and the use of high-speed internet, tells the stories of a North Carolina farmer and businessman, both of whom have engaged this critical technology to benefit their work and strengthen their communities. Boney notes that for some, the benefits of internet access may not seem worth the cost; however, as he also observes in these two stories, new ways of putting broadband to work can often yield powerful outcomes. To read more, visit the IEI’s Director’s Log.

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Community Development Digital Divide

ReConnect to Technological Opportunity

ReConnect to Technological Opportunity, a project of North Carolina’s Institute for Emerging Issues, leverages the skills and resources of five communities across the state (including Asheville) to shape strategies that bridge the digital divide, to promote both economic and community development. To learn more, see IEI’s ReConnect to Technological Opportunity.