RALEIGH, NC — Following AT&T’s launch of U-verse with AT&T GigaPower in the area, AT&T, the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) and four prestigious North Carolina colleges and universities announced plans to create a community enablement panel.

The intent of the panel is to identify new opportunities available to communities where next-generation broadband becomes available. The panel’s working groups will explore initiatives and opportunities in areas such as software defined networking, data analytics and the development of applications across several areas, including health and wellness, education, smart homes, municipal services, public safety, transportation, advanced manufacturing, arts and culture, smart grids and medicine.

The panel, which includes delegates from AT&T, NCNGN, Duke University, NC State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will collaborate on how to best leverage high-speed Internet and other technologies to drive economic development, workforce training, digital inclusion and technology innovation. NCNGN is a regional initiative that continues to successfully stimulate the deployment of next generation networks to North Carolina.

Investing in Regional Technology Innovation
“We’re in the very early stages of planning, but this is an exciting next step in the relationship between the NCNGN project and AT&T to invest in the future of this region and deliver next generation applications that will keep us as the forefront of technology trends,” said Tracy Futhey, chair of the NCNGN Steering Committee and vice president of Information Technology at Duke University. “This kind of private sector collaboration opens up new opportunities for our universities, students, communities, and residents in several areas, including advanced learning, application development, and job training.”

“This is about connecting North Carolinians — residents, technology leaders, and students — with new opportunities in ways we haven’t done before,” said Venessa Harrison, AT&T North Carolina state president. “Through collaboration, research and a shared desire to introduce exciting technologies in the regions, the potential is endless. We can’t wait to get moving.”

Durham Residents and Small Businesses to Receive AT&T U-verse Connectivity
The community enablement panel is tied to AT&T’s previous agreement to deploy a 100 percent fiber network in parts of six North Carolina communities. This includes areas where service is live in Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, and where plans have been announced to launch service in Durham on July 20. As part of the agreement with the NCNGN, Durham residents and small businesses will receive AT&T U-verse Internet connectivity and U-verse TV and Voice services for the first time.

The AT&T GigaPower network delivers the speed customers need to power all of their devices and connect them to the content that matters most. Ultra-fast Internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second improve the customer experience for consumers and small businesses using the network to connect to the cloud, videoconferencing, online gaming or for other services. U-verse with AT&T GigaPower customers are also getting faster Wi-Fi speeds through an upgraded residential gateway that takes advantage of the latest in Wi-Fi technology. The new gateway connects more devices with faster speeds from nearly anywhere in the home or business.Customers who subscribe to U-verse with AT&T GigaPower will continue to have access to U-verse TV and voice services.

AT&T is continuing to work with leaders throughout the Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions to discuss how the fiber platform can advance the area’s technology ecosystem. These talks include outlining how the new innovative services can have greater reach throughout the six communities and beyond. “This is just the beginning of what we have in store for North Carolina,” Futhey said. “We’re looking forward to the fresh, forward thinking of the universities and communities, and turning plans into action.”