NOAA's National Climatic Data Center Renews Agreement with ERC Broadband

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ERC Broadband announced today that it has signed an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to provide broadband services to NCDC. NCDC, based in Asheville, provides NOAA's climate data to millions of people. ERC Broadband is a vital partner in NCDC's mission to acquire and deliver these data. The new agreement formalizes the partnership between NOAA/NCDC and ERC Broadband and underscores how ERC Broadband is helping Asheville build its role and reputation in the national climate services community.

ERC Broadband (http://www.ercbroadband.org) announced today that it has signed an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov) to provide broadband services to NCDC. NCDC, based in Asheville, is part of NOAA's Satellite Data and Information Service and provides NOAA's climate data to millions of people. ERC Broadband is a vital partner in NCDC's mission to acquire and deliver these data.

ERC Broadband first began providing NCDC access to its broadband communications backbone in 2004. The new agreement, which will be in place for five years, formalizes the partnership between NOAA/NCDC and ERC Broadband and underscores how ERC Broadband is helping Asheville build its role and reputation in the national climate services community.

ERC Broadband, a project of the Education and Research Consortium of the western Carolinas, is a non-profit network that furthers technology in the western Carolina by supporting education, healthcare, all levels of government, and economic development. It is not community owned, but it is a community resource.

Working with public, private and non-profit concerns, ERC Broadband's goals are to grow the regional technical infrastructure and bring next generation Internet and advanced technology to the region. By accomplishing its goals, ERC Broadband is improving the overall quality of life in the area. ERC Broadband is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month.

"The new agreement stems from recognition that ERC Broadband is enhancing the national presence of NOAA's NCDC, and that of the National Weather Service as well," said Hunter Goosmann, General Manager of ERC Broadband. "ERC Broadband is creating awareness of and interest in climate data, and we are working with NCDC to establish and support the growth of its programs throughout the United States."

"ERC Broadband's fiber optic network is the lifeblood of NCDC, " said Sharon LeDuc, Deputy Director of NCDC. "A tremendous volume of data from NOAA's radar stations and satellites is digitally communicated to NCDC at high speed. Over 2.9 petabytes, or 1015, of data are stored at NCDC. NCDC scientists are stewards of the data and its quality, and this stewardship is essential for NOAA to provide these data to the public. ERC Broadband's network enables NCDC to provide massive amounts of information to private companies, academic centers and other government agencies that utilize our services in research and in the development of climate services products."

"ERC Broadband has been instrumental in helping Asheville build its climate services community by providing the bandwidth that attracts businesses and talent," said George Briggs, President of Centers for Environmental and Climate Interaction (http://www.climatealive.org,) an Asheville-based, non-profit education and research partnership among government, academia and industry whose goal is to encourage the development of trusted climate change information and analyses for policymakers, governments, businesses and the public. "Even though the Internet makes the data available to anyone anywhere in the world with a computer, it pays companies and other organizations to be physically close to NCDC's archives so they don't have to transport all the data they need to a distant city for research."

ERC Broadband is the linchpin in the strategy of the Asheville Hub (http://www.ashevillehub.com) to complete the build-out of broadband and high performance computing and storage infrastructure through western North Carolina to create jobs and wealth. The Asheville Hub is a community leadership organization that spurs collaboration and the incubation of community, cultural and economic development strategies that leverage Asheville's and Buncombe County's strengths in technology, creativity, rejuvenation, land/agriculture, manufacturing and enterprise.

Asheville, NC, is in the middle of a high tech corridor that links Washington, D.C., South Carolina's Upstate, Atlanta, Huntsville, AL, and the Oak Ridge National Lab in eastern Tennessee. ERC Broadband operates a regional network, connecting groups including UNC Asheville, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County government, NCDC and others to its network.

In addition to bandwidth connectivity, ERC Broadband offers co-location, disaster recovery and off-site storage services.

For more information, contact:
Deborah Roberts, ERC Broadband                
828/350-2415

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