Triangle Chatter

NC Engine roaring with ultra-high speed

We live in a world of acronyms and some are better than others. But you have to give credit to the minds that gave rise to the latest acronym to hit the Triangle:   NCNGN. The brilliance is in the pronunciation:  NC Engine – get it?  Whether you spell it or pronounce it, NCNGN stands for one of the newest collaborations in the region – the North Carolina Next Generation Network.

NC Next Generation NetworkAnd brilliant, it is. NC Engine aims to accelerate the deployment of ultra high speed internet access in the Research Triangle Region, as well as other portions of North Carolina’s Piedmont Crescent Corridor. The regional partnership is a collaboration of municipalities and universities with support from organizations such as Triangle J COG, the Research Triangle Foundation and area Chambers of Commerce. If you’re in Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh or Winston-Salem, you’re in. The university partners come to NC Engine through another cleverly-named group, Gig.U, and they include much of the region’s brain trust:  Duke, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest.

According to the partnership’s website, they aim to “initiate the development of open access, ultra high speed (1 Gigabit) bandwidth at very low price points to stimulate innovation, economic development and improved access and education.”  

NCengine.net offers some insights on the “how”:

Selected vendor(s) will provide high-speed Internet service over a wired or wireless network at a substantial discount from current market prices. Some of the participating communities will make existing technical assets, such as excess fiber, available at competitive prices in order to ensure this new network achieves the regional goals of reducing the digital divide, enhancing workforce knowledge and skills, promoting economic development, enhancing access for anchor institutions, and serving other targeted social purposes identified by the participating municipalities.

Triangle J Council of GovernmentsGentlemen – and women – fire your engines:  RFP responses due April 1

And how will those “selected vendor(s)” be selected?   No one has a chance to get in the game without first submitting a proposal. The RFP was issued February 1st; responses are due COB April 1st. On April 2nd, the evaluation team begins its work. If you’re wondering about the evaluation process and criteria, here’s a hint:  you’ll find it in Section 3.6 of the RFP. TJCOG is managing the RFP process, issuing the RFP, responding to questions and receiving the submissions through our website.  Find details and download the RFP here, but don’t delay – because this NC Engine is ready to roar.

Author: Marla Dorrel, Public Relations/Member Services Specialist, Triangle J Council of Governments

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