Raleigh, NC

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin

North Carolina

North Carolina
Total Population: 431,746
Population Density: 3,839 (people/sq.mi.)
Land Mass: 114.6 (sq.mi.)…..

“Broadband is the next generation economic development infrastructure. As we strive for a healthy economy and economic growth, it is time for the country to consider those technology advances that support the collaboration of communities and the advancement of education and research.”
“The Next Century Cities forum has allowed us to share business strategies as well as gain insight on how cities are measuring the success of these next generation networks.”

The City of Raleigh’s network includes a downtown fiber ring that connects major City facilities and the Raleigh Convention Center. Raleigh provides free outdoor Wi-Fi in the center city and two City parks. Through a BTOP grant, the City provided broadband access to 1,482 underserved households.


In collaboration with a traffic signal project, 125 miles of additional fiber is being added throughout Raleigh’s 142.8 square miles. This fiber backbone will serve as the foundation for the municipal network.

Four local universities and surrounding communities joined to initiate the development of ultra high-speed bandwidth at low price points to stimulate innovation, economic development, and improved access and education. This regional partnership is called North Carolina Next Generation Networks (NCNGN). The NCNGN members’ governing boards have approved master network development agreements with AT&T. AT&T was one of eight vendors that responded to the RFP issued by NCNGN. In addition to outlining the terms of AT&T’s proposal to provide 1-gig broadband connections to local residents and businesses, the agreements include initiatives to increase access to broadband.

In early 2014, Google announced it is considering 34 additional cities, including Raleigh, for Google Fiber. Raleigh has successfully completed the Google Fiber checklist.

In addition to these partnerships, all City reconstruction project designs (street, tree-lawn, curb & sidewalk) must include the installation of conduit/broadband, resulting in the incorporation of the telecommunications component into the project design prior to public bid.  Rochester’s ordinance facilitates the expansion of valuable assets across the city: preserving existing infrastructure, allowing the provision of in-kind services in lieu of fee payments, and developing opportunities to leverage these provisions. The vision is to ensure network extensions for the benefit of all citizens, in particular, low-income neighborhoods, and bridge the digital divide, i.e., ensure maximum connectivity and universal access.  


  • The creation of a City division to address these issues, 
  • Director of Telecommunications
  • Community Liaison,
  • The passage and implementation of the Telecommunications Ordinance, 
  • Expand Permits Staff: address increased work load from telecom/wireless network expansion,
  • The registration of all Telecommunications providers within the city, 
  • Creation & Coordination with Dig Once/GIS implementation
  • Catalogue of all available resources within the Right of Way (ROW)
  • Provider Forums re: in kind service payments, public private partnerships, et. al.
  • Collaborative Projects/Partnerships/Philanthropic Donations
  • Expansion & marketing of broadband discount programs
  • The requirement for conduit/fiber installation on all road construction projects,
  • The performance of an Inventory Analysis of Telecom Assets, 
  • Master Plan 2034, Community Collaboration & Outreach, and 
  • The establishment of the Smart City Committee & Working Group

With the evolution of the CDE Lightband fiber and gigabit networks the community has seen many improvements and benefits. We are poised to continue on this path of better services, more economic development opportunities, greater quality of life experience and stronger educational development opportunities for our city and our citizens.