- Digital Ecosystem
- Programs & Clients
We’ve had a lot of interest in our Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP) since we announced it a little more than a month ago in DC. And beyond the questions about the actual GNGP programs, there seems to be a little bit of confusion about Gig.U, US Ignite, and how Gigabit Squared relates to each. Let’s take a step back first… What is the difference between these organizations and are they complimentary or doing the same basic things?
The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project – known better as Gig.U – is a consortium of more than 30 research Universities. Founded by Blair Levin in 2011, Gig.U’s mission, as they state on their website, is simple:
“Accelerate the deployment of world-leading, next generation networks in the United States in a way that provides an opportunity to lead in the next generation of ultra-high speed network services and applications.”
Gig.U was founded as broadband advocates recognized that the development of high speed networks was not increasing, but in fact stalled. So why is it the job of universities to head up and accelerate the deployment of ultra-high-speed networks? Well it is no accident that research universities are especially interested in Gig.U membership as they are, at their core, encouraging innovation and providing their students and the surrounding community with an atmosphere to create tomorrow’s technologies today.
In essence, Gig.U is “in business” to help ensure that our country’s brightest minds have a platform for innovation to develop digital solutions.
US Ignite’s official launch was just a few short weeks ago at the White House. This initiative focuses on fostering “60 next-gen applications.” In other words, what good is a Gigabit network without applications that leverage it? And we might ask… how will we ever push the boundaries of our currently limited bandwidth without applications that push adoption? No one is downloading from iTunes on dial-up, few are streaming movies from Netflix on DSL. Applications create demand.
And so US Ignite is here to drive application development, many that only exist in the imagination today.
The primary goal of the US Ignite Partnership will be to catalyze approximately 60 advanced, next-gen applications over the next five years in six areas of national priority: education and workforce development, advanced manufacturing, health, transportation, public safety, and clean energy. Responsibilities of the Partnership will include connecting, convening, and supporting startups, local and state government, universities, industry leaders, federal agencies, foundations, and community and carrier initiatives in conceptualizing and building new applications. The resulting new applications should have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, including providing a broad range of job and investment opportunities.
So what about Gigabit Squared? Obviously we have a relationship with Gig.U to help develop gigabit networks in Gig.U communities. And our leadership and ideas has been sought as US Ignite launches this bold initiative to foster applications. But at the end of the day, Gigabit Squared is a separate, private organization that believes that robust, gigabit speed bandwidth is the key to our nation’s success, now and in the future. Given that, we support both organizations in their efforts to establish platforms of innovation, and the applications that will reside on our 21st century networks.