EDENTON, N.C., August 28 -- North Carolina's Rural Internet Access Authority (RIAA) approved a $2.9 million grant for a fiber optic cable backbone that will stretch from Moyock to Wilmington. The fiber network, which is being built along the same route as the natural gas pipeline already under construction, will have a potential impact on 39 counties along or east of Interstate 95.
"We appreciate the Rural Internet Access Authority's support of this project, which will provide a major economic boost for Eastern North Carolina," said Cliff Copeland, chairman of the the Albemarle-Pamlico Economic Development Corp. (APEC) fiber committee. "The fiber backbone will result in aggregated demand, lower costs and greater access to affordable high-speed Internet service to improve the quality of life for the average citizen in this part of our state."
Also providing funding for the project are EMC Fiber LLC, the N.C. Research Education Network, the University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and the Golden Leaf Foundation.
Construction of the fiber project began last fall and is scheduled for completion in spring 2004.