Faculty Survey: Bringing Higher Speed Connectivity to homes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro

UNC Chapel Hill has joined with Duke, NC State and Wake Forest in an initiative to bring high speed fiber optic connectivity to homes in the Triangle area and Winston-Salem. The goal is to provide 1 gigabit/sec connections to residents, businesses, schools and clinics/hospitals.

All four universities are part of the Gig.U initiate to advocate for this nationally—see www.gig-u.org for further information on the national initiative.  Our municipal partners here in the Triangle—Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Research Triangle Park—are actively working together to make gigabit connectivity a reality for our communities.

We believe dramatically improving connectivity is strategically important to the vibrancy, health, and future of our communities.  Our regional coalition will be releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the near future to try to incentivize one or more private sector companies to build these high speed connections and make them available at disruptively low monthly rates.

Firm pricing won’t be known until we complete the RFP process, however, the much publicized Google Fiber initiative in Kansas City has established a benchmark price of $70/mo for a 1 gigabit connection to the home.  If we can get close to that through our RFP process, we believe it will be a game-changer for our communities.

However, we do not expect the RFP will result in a pervasive residential build-out of gigabit capability, so we have to identify areas of high demand to the possible vendors.  To put us in the best possible position for negotiating with private sector companies on this build-out, we need to identify pockets of potential interest.  Consequently, we are asking you, as a UNC Health Care member, to complete a short survey of interest at:

https://unc.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9LDNZJ83bYnYSMZ

This is strictly an indication of possible interest and does NOT commit you to anything.  We do not need to know your identity, just your address, so we can map out areas of potential market interest to the possible vendors.

We know all of you are very busy, but completing the survey will only take a few minutes and it could result in dramatically improved connectivity to your homes.  We need your response by Friday November 30, 2012, to keep on schedule for release of the RFP.

If you have any questions on this, please contact Terri Buckner in UNC ITS at tbuckner@unc.edu or myself at larry_conrad@unc.edu.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

Larry Conrad

Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO

UNC Chapel Hill