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Despite legal concerns, Gig.U initiative approved to provide Internet (Daily Tar Heel)

Article posted in the Daily Tar Heel covering the town’s approval of participating in the RFP process. (Posted Jan 14, 2013)


“The Chapel Hill Town Council moved forward Monday with an initiative to provide Internet to communities, despite concerns about its legality.”


Chapel Hill Town Council Approves RFP process

GIG-U/North Carolina Next Generation Network: The Council received an update on the GIG-U/North Carolina Next Generation Network initiative and authorized Town Manager Roger Stancil to continue to participate in the process as set for in a Request for Proposals. Under the banner of the national GIG-U initiative, four local universities and their surrounding communities including Chapel Hill have joined together to initiate the development of open access, ultra high speed (1 Gigabit) bandwidth at very low prices points to stimulate innovation, economic development and improved access and education. Several chief information officers from Triangle universities addressed the Council in support of the project, described as a “phenomenal collaboration” effort to bring high-speed Internet access.

See Town Council Site

See news releases from Town on council meeting

Summary by Terri Buckner, January 14. 2013

Are other communities trying to implement ultra-high speed networks?

Many US communities are working on similar projects.  In fall 2012, both Chicago and Seattle announced public-private-university broadband/fiber-optic partnerships similar to that proposed by our communities.  Today these partnerships offer a much-desired upgrade to our broadband service; tomorrow, they’ll be essential if we are to attract jobs, new residents and investment.

Of course, there is also Google’s project in Kansas City.

Right here in North Carolina, Person County has a similar RFP to promote broadband for underserved areas.