Golden LEAF Foundation Grants $750,000 to Wireless Research Center of North Carolina

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Funding Portable Wireless Network Test Capability in the State

Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit organization helping transform North Carolina's economy, has awarded a $750,000 grant to the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRCNC) to establish Portable Wireless Network Test Capability (PWNTC) in North Carolina.

“The Golden LEAF Foundation grant is important to the Wireless Research Center’s ability to develop new solutions that enhance economic development in and help the people of North Carolina,” says Dr. Gerard Hayes, CEO and President of the WRCNC. “This is our second grant from Golden LEAF, and this infusion will allow us to lead a charge to bring high speed internet into the rural areas of North Carolina. We’re thankful for their support.”

Demand for the PWNTC is being driven by two primary economic opportunities.  An air-to-ground next generation technology communication system is very desirable for  North Carolina companies, and last mile deployment of wireless internet in rural areas is very desirable to service providers, as well.

“Access to wireless technology is key to bridging the digital divide,” said Dan Gerlach, President of the Golden LEAF Foundation. “Overcoming this divide will help level the playing field for economic growth, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas.”

The grant was awarded in part to develop three portable towers and radio equipment that can be deployed to most regions of the state. Once enabled, they will aid entities in the evaluation and implementation of a wireless network prior to the deployment of a permanent system by testing coverage and quality/reliability of service prior to a costly installation commitment.

The PWNTC will benefit the development of the unmanned aerial system by NC State University, creating a rural smart-grid system and aiding in the evaluation and deployment of emergency communications networks for use when wired communication systems are inoperable due to natural disasters.

 About Golden LEAF Foundation

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,216 grants worth over $538 million since its inception. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call (888) 684-8404.

About Wireless Research Center of North Carolina

Headquartered in and supported by the City of Wake Forest, NC, the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRCNC) is a non-profit organization that offers testing for wireless communications and facilitates entrepreneurial development for wireless-enabled technologies. It's global customer base produces a diverse range of wireless products ranging from transceivers to medical devices and last-mile broadband. WRCNC fosters collaboration among industry partners, academic institutions and research organizations. For more information, visit www.wirelesscenter-nc.org.

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