U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today applauded the completion of MCNC's Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI), a landmark project that connects schools, businesses and health care providers across North Carolina with high speed broadband. Representatives from Senator Hagan's office attended Broadband for the Future events today in Asheville, Charlotte, Elizabeth City and Raleigh, all of which were connected via high definition video, demonstrating the reach of the GLRBI.
"I have long supported the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative and the work it does to support North Carolina's rural communities," said Senator Hagan. "Broadband access is crucial for economic development, access to education, quality healthcare for families in rural communities. Now that MCNC has completed construction of the GLRBI, I will continue to work with the organization to ensure that broadband access is available to more and more citizens of North Carolina."
In the Senate, Hagan supported two grants for a total of $115.7 million to allow MCNC to create a new broadband network in North Carolina that spans 1,300 miles through 69 counties and reaches all four corners of the state. Rural counties have been hard hit by the economic downturn, with unemployment rates in some areas lingering above 10%, and the GLRBI will help boost economic activity and create jobs.
"Broadband technology can be the great equalizer and the gateway to information and opportunity, but far too many North Carolina communities, particularly in our state's most rural areas, lack the 21st century tools needed to compete in today's global marketplace," added Hagan. "This new network will ensure that our rural communities can foster new businesses, create jobs and access North Carolina's best medical specialists from counties away. And it will ensure that every child - whether they're sitting in a classroom in Charlotte or Tarboro - has the same opportunities and chance for success."