Internet

MCNC Preparing To Connect North Carolina

Feb 26, 2016
Image of hands typing on laptop
Ministerio TIC Colombia / Flickr Creative Commons

Durham telecommunications non-profit MCNC says it plans to make North Carolina the most connected state in the country.

The non-profit unveiled a new plan for the next four years to facilitate broadband Internet expansion into rural areas.

An image of a person typing on a computer
Public Domain

In an effort to bridge the digital divide, the Obama administration has selected Durham, as well as 26 other cities and a tribal nation, to help connect more public housing residents to high-speed internet.

Google Fiber, Google, Internet Construction
Google Fiber

Folks in the Triangle cheered when Google announced it was bringing ultra-high-speed internet and TV service to the area.  Google officials say now it’s time for patience as they start digging up and building new infrastructure to accommodate the technology.

A lot of lobbying and planning went into the Triangle and Charlotte being chosen for Google Fiber, which can deliver data 100 times faster than your basic Internet service.

Governor Pat McCrory was one of the biggest cheerleaders at the announcement five months ago.

South Estes, Public Housing, Chapel Hill
Leoneda Inge

A big step is underway to help bridge the “digital divide” in Chapel Hill.

Town officials announced today, along with AT&T, that residents living in eight of its public housing communities will soon have free internet service.

The move is a long time coming, especially in a town that is already one of the most wired in the state.

The South Estes Public Housing Community in Chapel Hill sits right off 15/501, near University Mall.  The 44 units were built in 1970, are gray in color and probably need a little fixing up. 

Optical fiber used for high speed internet.
Michel Tronchetti

It’s not nearly as fast as the Gigabit service promised by Google Fiber and AT&T.  But, Time Warner Cable has announced faster internet service is coming to North Carolina soon .

The new, upgraded service is called TWC Maxx. 

“So, TWC Maxx is our plan to transform the Time Warner Cable customer experience," said Scott Pryzwansky.

Scott Pryzwansky is the Public Relations Director for Time Warner Cable spokesman in the Eastern United States.  He says their new internet service will be up to six times faster than the current service, with no change in price.

Broadband internet, computers,
www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/

    

President Obama used last night’s State of the Union address to position himself as a champion of the middle class.

He called on Congress to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans to pay for services like child care and rising health costs.

But he also took a minute to ask Congress to pass a bill that would beef up this nation’s cybersecurity.

Photo: A Bed and Breakfast and a home on Bloodworth Street in downtown Raleigh's Oakwood neighborhood
Jorge Valencia

The Oakwood Inn Bed & Breakfast was built in 1871, and since 2001, Doris Juerkiwicz has been the owner and innkeeper. It was earlier this year that she heard about some brand new competition.

A woman ran the bell at Victorian-era house in historic Oakwood in downtown Raleigh, and asked Juerkiwicz if she remembered her.

"She said, 'I used to stay with you, but I'm staying at your neighbor’s now because I just can’t beat the price,'" Juerkiwicz remembers.

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

Fiber Optics
Michel Tronchetti

Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Winston-Salem have signed on to an agreement with AT&T for high-speed fiber optic Internet service. The service operates at one gigabit per second, which translates to 25 song downloads per second. Still can't wrap your head around the incredible speed of fiber? Check out this video that uses water to demonstrate.

This ultra-fast Internet service is not new everywhere in the state. The cities of Wilson and Salisbury started working on their own fiber systems years ago. That was before a 2011 state law restricted municipalities from building publicly-owned broadband networks. 

An internet hacker dressed as a robber cracks a code on a desktop
flickr.com

    

You may not know what OpenSSL does, but odds are you rely on it when you enter your credit card number to make a purchase online. The software provides internet security for companies large and small across the web. A recently discovered bug in the software called Heartbleed could mean massive security breaches by hackers and exposure of private information. 

For more than 40 years, Jane Smith Patterson has been paving the way for women in North Carolina politics and digital technology. After her start as a young organizer and activist in her hometown in Columbus County, North Carolina, Patterson left home for college when she was 16 years old. 

SmartSign via Flickr

A Shelby-based company is launching their own ultra-high-speed fiber optic project -- even as Google Fiber tests some North Carolina markets for connectivity.  RST Fiber says it has activated a statewide 3,100-mile fiber network.  

This week on-air and online, the tech team is exploring the sharing economy. You'll find the stories on this blog and aggregated at this link, and we would love to hear your questions about the topic. Just email, leave a comment or tweet.

Wikimedia Commons

    

A federal government report on Internet access ranked North Carolina last in the country for the rate of Internet subscription.  

Only 17 percent of North Carolina households have fixed Internet connections at a speed the FCC deems the "minimum required to engage in modern life."  Rural residents say that they have difficulty getting coverage while providers claim rural North Carolina has adequate service.

Optical fiber used for high speed internet.
Michel Tronchetti

The city of Wilson has finished installing a fiber optic Internet system.  It's the first such project in North Carolina that will provide the city of about 50,000 people with ultra-high speed Internet. 

Optical fiber used for high speed internet.
Michel Tronchetti

The town of Holly Springs is interested in laying a fiber optic network that could lead to super high-speed Internet for local residents and businesses. 

The Town Council voted unanimously to move forward with the project, which would install 16 miles of fiber optic cable in two loops underneath the town.  Joanne Hovis is president of CTC Technology, which the town hired to design the network.  She told the council at a recent meeting the service would start out as a communications system for the town, but lays the groundwork for Internet Service Providers to build commercial and residential connections.

Jud Bowman; CEO of Appia
https://twitter.com/judbowman / Twitter

In the late '90s the Internet was king and everybody wanted a piece of it. Jud Bowman was a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Math when he had an idea for an Internet start up. It was called Motricity, and he managed to get investors onboard before things went south in the Internet market.

Marc Hoit
http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/

A consortium of universities and municipalities are working to bring ultrafast Internet access to central North Carolina.  North Carolina State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke will submit a request for proposals Friday to Internet providers.

Researchers from NC State and UNC Chapel Hill are working on an improved blueprint for the Internet. The project is part of the National Science Foundation’s effort on “Future Internet Architecture.”  The team in North Carolina is focused on making more choices available to end-users. Ilia Baldine is a senior researcher at UNC.

 State lawmakers have passed a measure that would make it harder for cities and towns to build their own Internet broadband systems. 

 The controversial bill passed the Senate earlier this week and returned yesterday to the House for concurrence. Supporters say it's not fair that municipalities don't have to follow the same regulations that commercial providers do. But a few Democratic lawmakers still fired whatever shots they could at the measure. Democrat Bill Faison represents Caswell and Orange counties.