MCNC gives back – $30M to wire rural N.C.

Following the high-profile sale of its spin-off, the research center MCNC has offered to donate $30 million in profits to help wire rural North Carolina, the News & Observer in Raleigh reports.

The offer from CEO Bill Kress to fund the N.C. Rural Prosperity Task Force comes in the wake of criticism that MCNC had not shared its windfall with taxpayers who supported the organization for years, the N&O says.

The nonprofit MCNC reaped a $200 million profit when it sold Cronos Integrated Microsystems to JDS Uniphase for nearly $600 million, the N&O reports.

The task force, headed by former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, aims to provide high-speed Internet access, faster road construction, and water and sewer bonds for rural North Carolina.   The task force has been constrained by a lack of funds in a tight-budget year, the N&O reports.

MCNC was created by the state in 1980 to attract semiconductor companies to North Carolina. Over the years, the state has invested nearly $260 million in the center, the N&O says.

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