On Raleigh: “Broadband is the next generation economic development infrastructure. As we strive for a healthy economy and economic growth, it is time for the country to consider those technology advances that support the collaboration of communities and the advancement of education and research.”
On Next Century Cities: “The Next Century Cities forum has allowed us to share business strategies as well as gain insight on how cities are measuring the success of these next generation networks.”
What Raleigh is working on: The City of Raleigh’s network includes a downtown fiber ring that connects major City facilities and the Raleigh Convention Center. Raleigh provides free outdoor Wi-Fi in the center city and two City parks. Through a BTOP grant, the City provided broadband access to 1,482 underserved households.
In collaboration with a traffic signal project, 125 miles of additional fiber is being added throughout Raleigh’s 142.8 square miles. This fiber backbone will serve as the foundation for the municipal network.
Four local universities and surrounding communities joined to initiate the development of ultra high-speed bandwidth at low price points to stimulate innovation, economic development, and improved access and education. This regional partnership is called North Carolina Next Generation Networks (NCNGN). The NCNGN members’ governing boards have approved master network development agreements with AT&T. AT&T was one of eight vendors that responded to the RFP issued by NCNGN. In addition to outlining the terms of AT&T’s proposal to provide 1-gig broadband connections to local residents and businesses, the agreements include initiatives to increase access to broadband.
In early 2014, Google announced it is considering 34 additional cities, including Raleigh, for Google Fiber. Raleigh has successfully completed the Google Fiber checklist.