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New Fiber project under way to benefit Craven County

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NEW BERN, Craven County - A new fiber connection is being installed this week to three rural schools in the western part of Craven County.

On Friday at 11 a.m., Frank Graham, Site Foreman with Global Communications and Jeanne Hurley, State E-Rate Coordinator will be on site to answer any questions about this project. Below is a press release from Craven County Schools.

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New Bern, NC- Groundbreaking prep work at Glenburnie Park started this week to install a new fiber connection to three of our rural schools in the western part of the county. This project will take place throughout the summer in anticipation of completion prior to the beginning of the new school year in August. Frank Graham, Site Foreman with Global Communications and Jeannene Hurley, State E-Rate Coordinator will be on site Friday, June 9th at 11:00 a.m. to answer any questions about this project. In 2004, Craven County Schools, Craven County, The City of Havelock, and The City of New Bern began a fiber optic installation project which spanned most of Craven County and all but three of our county's most rural schools. In 2015, Craven County Schools began the initial planning for the installation of fiber to the remaining schools (James W. Smith Elementary, Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary, and Bridgeton Elementary School) to provide the same level of network connectivity as every other school. We submitted an E-Rate application to install self-provisioned fiber optic cable to these three schools in 2016, and have been fortunate to be awarded $1.2M from both E-Rate and the state to complete the project.

There are a number of things that make this project unique. We are in the process of installing nearly 98,000 or 18 miles of fiber optic cabling to the three schools. Beginning Tuesday, June 06, 2017, our contractor will begin drilling the nearly mile long span under the Neuse River between Glenburnie Park in New Bern, and Bridgeton Elementary School. The entire project should be completed prior to students returning from summer break. Craven County Schools was one of approximately 45 self-provisioned fiber installation projects funded by E-Rate nationwide. This is a point of pride for our school district and county.

The Craven County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Meghan Doyle has shared a vision for every student and teacher to have access to a computer or iPad in the classroom. Technology in our classrooms is integral to the curriculum, which engages students in authentic learning though real-world problem solving. Technology in the hands of students allows them to expand their personal boundaries of what they can accomplish. Technology planning considerations are evolving from questions about technical capacity to a vision of limitless opportunities for student learning.

It is extremely exciting to see students engaged with curriculum, and with each other through the use of technology. The increase in technology use in recent years also prompted us to make major upgrades to our wireless infrastructure. Craven County Schools was also awarded an additional $1.2M in E-Rate and state funding to upgrade our cabling and switching equipment in every school to better support the increase in wireless devices. This upgrade will provide 10Gbps connectivity across our network, supporting phones, and wireless devices both now and for the future. We are very proud to provide these recent upgrades, and to anticipate their impact on student learning.

Craven County Schools has been incredibly grateful to have collaborative partnerships with Craven County, and The City of New Bern. Craven County will also take advantage of this rare opportunity to place additional fiber under the river and to the county's most rural locations for future broadband expansion. We would like to offer a special thanks to the IT Departments of Craven County and the City of New Bern for their cooperation and assistance with this project.

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