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US Ignite Accepting Applications for Smart Gigabit Communities Program

By Ken Briodagh July 26, 2017

In a recent call for applications, US Ignite has said it is seeking to accept applications for additional communities to join its Smart Gigabit Communities program (SGC), a program that was designed to enable communities to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation, gigabit applications and services. The SGC program enhances local community innovation ecosystems to develop and deploy next-generation gigabit applications and services that run on advanced networks.

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), US Ignite will competitively select and support communities that will increase SGC diversity in areas such as geography, population density, economic position, and resident demographics. Additional SGC applications proposing locally-generated support are also welcome to apply.

Funded via a three-year, $6 million grant from NSF, SGC has created a network of 19 communities each employing a common approach to foster a gigabit application ecosystem.

“Smart and connected communities and their residents have just begun to benefit from next-generation applications,” said William Wallace, Executive Director, US Ignite. “That is why we are so excited that more communities will have the opportunity to join this movement.”

As part of their participation, communities will support the creation of two next-generation applications annually that provide advanced technology solutions to issues or needs faced by a community – examples of local community needs include education, workforce development, public safety, smart transportation and community health.

These applications will be shared among the larger, nationwide ecosystem of gigabit communities – communities will also have access to applications developed by other communities. The benefits of each community’s program will be amplified by this network of SGCs.

SGC communities leverage installed gigabit capacity provided by organizations like Cox Communications, Google Fiber, AT&T, Comcast, Centurylink, Verizon, or a municipal or other gigabit provider. The gigabit connectivity can come from a state network, a fiber provider, gigabit wireless provider, or any other means of providing widespread gigabit connectivity.

In one successful case, STEM students in Chattanooga are experiencing biology and STEM like never before. Researchers at the University of Southern California place live biological specimens under a Digital Cinema Microscope and capture ultra-high resolution (4k) movies of the microorganisms while simultaneously transmitting live, HD images from the microscope to students in the STEM class. Students in turn are able to manipulate the microscope in near real time and interact with world-class professors from 2,000 miles away.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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