The future has never been so bright. We recently held our half day event, along with US Ignite, MCNC, and the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA), aptly named “Networking the Future North Carolina,” in Research Triangle Park (RTP).
The event was attended by about 100 local and national leaders from the private sector, government, and higher education, with the common goal of sharing expert insight and experience about the latest in networking technologies and how new technology initiatives can be developed and implemented in the state over the next few years in order to spur education, job growth, and economic vitality.
Over the last 50 years the RTP area has evolved from a grand vision to an even grander reality, helping more than 35,000 people obtain well-paying and enduring high-tech jobs while shaping the future of the community and driving technological innovation and an emphasis on technology education. Leaders, schools and local RTP companies that have grown out of this environment our now driving the next generation of technology solutions and initiatives that will bring economic opportunity to North Carolina. And this makes for a thriving community.
The statements made by Duke University’s CIO, Tracy Futhey, really captured this at the event. “Networking in North Carolina is about aggregating demand and removing barriers,” she said. She has been a tireless advocate for the idea that if you give organizations such as schools, hospitals, and others network capacity and useful connections beyond their current needs, their potential for providing leading edge education and services becomes limitless.
“Networking the Future is about more than just building out cable connections – it’s about delivering applications and connectivity that will make a meaningful difference to the people, communities, and businesses of North Carolina,” said Oscar Rodriguez, CEO of Extreme Networks.
RTP is at the epicenter of this connected future, and the initiatives developed here are putting the rest of North Carolina within arm’s reach of the networking capacity and applications that will connect our classrooms, our businesses, and our communities to limitless resources and opportunities. Rural Broadband is one avenue, and delivering very high-speed Internet and converged communications to every home is a lofty yet important goal.
While the Internet itself has helped communities, business and universities across the globe become more efficient and connected, the next generation networks (NGNs) that have been developed right here in North Carolina, via companies like Extreme Networks, Cisco and IBM, and local government and universities such as NC State, Duke and North Carolina University will make it even faster and smarter.
This could be applied to deliver cutting edge healthcare to remote areas, offer better educational opportunities to students in rural areas, and breathe new economic life into communities hit hard by the Great Recession. Imagine a doctor in a small town in North Carolina video conferencing in an expert consultation on a complex case, offering the patient a much faster diagnoses with less expense and stress – next generation networks can help make that a reality.
As intelligence and investment in North Carolina coalesce around emerging trends such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Cloud Computing and virtualization, we expect to see development and delivery of leading edge applications across North Carolina – applications bringing new business and that ultimately lead to new innovation and greater economic vitality for the state.
We believe that the cooperation taking place between leading technology providers, government officials, and universities will make the state a model for technology deployment and the benefits to which it leads.
The bottom line is that innovation and economic vitality go hand in hand. The first installment of Networking the Future NC was an excellent first step on the road to a cooperative, productive future, and we look forward to continued cooperation and collaboration with our North Carolina partners in the months and years to come.
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