Thursday, September 9, 2010

CommScope Selected by MCNC to Launch North Carolina Fiber Project

First Contract Estimted at $2.5 Million 09/09/2010 San Francisco - CommScope, Inc. (NYSE: CTV), the global supplier of infrastructure solutions for communications networks, has been selected by MCNC to provide materials for the stimulus funded North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) Southeastern and Western North Carolina Fiber Expansion Project.

As we previously reported, the $39.9 million project received $28.2 million in funding in January from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce.  The 400 page MCNC application to NTIA for broadband stimulus Round 1 funding was one of the most comprehensive submitted in that highly competitive and vastly over subscribed funding round.

The project will add some 480 miles of optical fiber in 37 counties in southeastern and western parts of the Tar Heel state.  MCNC began accepting proposals for this portion of the project in mid-June. CommScope’s contract is estimated at $2.5 million over the next 23 to 36 months and will deliver all materials related to the project directly to MCNC.

Extensive BOM to be Filled by CommScope
The items on the project's bill of materials to be purchased from CommScope under this contract are approximately 500 miles of fiber, 1,000 miles of conduit, approximately 600 hand holds, 10,000 couplers, approximately 100 splices cases, approximately 750 marking posts, and 100 grounding rods.

”As a North Carolina-based company, we are thrilled to be chosen by MCNC for a project that not only creates jobs in North Carolina but has the potential to provide tremendous, long-lasting benefits to our state’s residents,” said Ric Johnsen, vice president and general manager, Broadband Solutions, CommScope. 

In what can only be seen a further good news for the Hickory, NC based CommScope, on August 18, MCNC also was awarded another $75.75 million in federal stimulus funding for the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI). Golden LEAF provided a $24 million match to MCNC’s application to help expand the NCREN footprint even further to now traverse 69 counties in the rural Northeastern, North Central, Northwest and South Central parts of North Carolina impacting 5.9 million residents and a total of 4,066 community anchor institutions.  This project was also funded as a large scale middle mile project by NTIA.  

Consumers and small businesses along the fiber build will be reached with enhanced broadband service through commercial telecommunications and cable providers with whom MCNC has formed partnerships. FRC/PalmettoNet, a middle-mile operator and partner in MCNC’s Round 1 application, will assist last-mile service providers in reaching consumers and commercial businesses. The network has the potential to serve more than 1,500 anchor institutions, 180,000 businesses, and more than 300,000 underserved families.

“This is a perfect opportunity to show the world that North Carolina is a leader in broadband connectivity,” said Tommy Jacobson, MCNC’s Vice President for Network Infrastructure Initiatives. “We are excited about what CommScope brings to the table through its global leadership, local presence, and unique logistics capabilities as MCNC continues expanding a future-proof network infrastructure to help every citizen in this state.”

The project’s Environmental Assessment also was put into place this week with construction ready to proceed. Currently, MCNC is evaluating proposals on construction bids and a vendor decision is expected within the next 30 days.

MCNC estimates that the combination of January’s Round 1 award and last month’s Round 1 award will provide an historic opportunity in North Carolina is expected to create more than 1,000 engineering/construction jobs.
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