HERO Project: FY 2024 outlook – Building relationships, gaining influence, and taking action
MCNC's outlook in FY 2024
Building relationships, gaining influence, and taking action
For more than 45 years, MCNC has been proactive in meeting the technology needs for citizens in North Carolina; a consistent leader in innovation as well as a catalyst for technology-based economic development. MCNC’s business and partnering strategy gives North Carolina a real competitive advantage in economic development, digital equity and inclusion, and a driver for the interconnected economy in North Carolina.
MCNC has three important roles: convener, broker, and facilitator for community anchor institutions. MCNC aims to forge alliances that will provide communities throughout North Carolina with the tools and technologies to accomplish our mission while also actively exploring new avenues for growth and investment through partnerships and collaborations that align with eroding the digital divide and energizing prosperity.
Take our work with Providence Omnistructure, for example, as we join forces in Martin County as part of NCShare to deploy mobile, virtual, and community-based Connectivity Campuses to raise awareness, cultivate talent, deliver content, and encourage adoption of digital technologies and connectivity. Another example is Corning – working together to drive and support workforce development. And, there’s Roanoke Connect/Fybe – working to expand broadband infrastructure to nearly 100,000 homes. This work is helping to shape actionable strategies with our partners to benefit all N.C. communities.
MCNC also continues to advocate for those without a voice in our state, capitalizing on the relationships we’ve built with legislators and decisionmakers. An important goal is to establish and improve direct communication channels with local government officials, community leaders, and representatives from educational institutions, health care facilities, and businesses to ensure their needs become our driving force. These channels will shine a bright light on the specific broadband needs in every county in the state in order to solve problems efficiently and effectively.
Finally, MCNC will continue to pursue opportunities that will drive innovation and expand broadband. Last month, MCNC secured funding from the NTIA for our HERO (High Speed Economies for Rural Opportunities) Project. We are the only Research and Education Network, or REN, in the country to receive direct funding. Immediately upon receiving notice of this award, we reached out to the stakeholders and communities who supported our application; wanting to not only thank them for championing this cause, but to draw them in, encourage their continued collaboration, and to ensure future innovations are constructive and beneficial. These kind of organizations, nonprofits, and community groups can amplify our outreach efforts as we leverage existing networks, tap into local knowledge, and establish trust in each area to reach a broader audience. With this expanding reach, we will be better able to promote the HERO Project – and other projects like it – and deliver on the promises outlined in our application.
MCNC will continue to build a reputation as an organization worth investing in. As we enter the next fiscal year, let us remain bold and united in our pursuit of excellence.