MCNC, the Raleigh nonprofit that provides high-speed Internet access for educational use, has announced the companies that will be paid in federal stimulus money to build 500 miles of fiber-optic cable in rural areas.
The $28.2 million project will add (or save) about 230 jobs, the nonprofit organization estimates.
Cisco Systems, one of the companies selected, has assembled a strategic unit dedicated to bidding on federal stimulus contracts. The Silicon Valley computer networking giant employs 4,700 workers and contractors in Research Triangle Park.
The other companies selected are Fiber Technologies, Globe Communications, CommScope and Comtech Technical Services. Fiber Tech is based in Houston, Tex., Comtech in Hildebran, CommScope in Hickory and Globe in Durham. The contactors announced today will be paid about $20 million.
The contractors have beens selected to work on Phase I of the project. Phase II, a further broadband expansion, will be paid for with $75.7 million in federal stimulus money.
The current MCNC communications network, which contains about 400 miles of fiber-optic cable, will measure about 3,400 miles when completed in 2013.
MCNC was formed in 1980 by the N.C. General Assembly and provides communications services for public schools, community colleges and universities.