North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) is a regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation broadband networks in North Carolina. The coordinated effort is led by six municipalities and four leading research universities and supported by local Chambers of Commerce and businesses in the Research Triangle and Piedmont regions. NCNGN’s goal is to encourage private sector providers to deliver ultra-fast bandwidth at highly affordable prices to ensure our regions and state remain competitive and at the forefront of developing the next-generation applications essential to all sectors of the economy.
On February 1, 2013, NCNGN, through the Triangle J Council of Governments, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting one or more private companies to build and operate the desired networks. Eight responses were received by the April 1st deadline.
NCNGN recommends cities & towns consider AT&T proposal
April 10, 2014 – On April 8th, 2014, the Steering Committee of the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) unanimously and enthusiastically approved a resolution recommending that its members seek authorization to enter master network development agreements with AT&T.
AT&T was one of eight vendors that responded to the Request for Proposals (RFP) NCNGN issued through the Triangle J Council of Governments. The RFP invited one or more private companies to build and operate next-generation networks in the six communities involved in NCNGN: Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem.
In addition to outlining the terms of AT&T’s proposal to provide broadband connections with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second to local residents and businesses in areas where there is sufficient demand in all six communities, the proposed agreements include initiatives designed to increase access to broadband, such as providing free service to certain public community sites. In the agreements the NCNGN members agree to attempt to streamline processes around permitting and inspections, ensure nondiscriminatory treatment for broadband providers that offer similar services, and support community education efforts about the benefits of gigabit networks.
“This agreement grows out of community leaders working together and municipal staff approaching vendor negotiations with open minds and a willingness to consider ways their cities and towns could lead to greater infrastructure investment,” said NCNGN Steering Committee chair Tracy Futhey, who is Vice President for Information Technology at Duke University. “Their collaborative efforts allowed us to negotiate draft agreements on par or better than many recent agreements other cities have been able to negotiate with private vendors.”
The proposed agreements with AT&T are not exclusive and will not preclude discussions that any NCNGN communities have with other vendors. “NCNGN member communities are excited about this development, but remain committed to on-going discussions with other vendors because we believe consumers benefit most from a competitive marketplace,” said Futhey.