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David Salway

FCC Gigabit Challenge: Race for Top Broadband Speeds

By January 31, 2013

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Two recent announcements regarding applications designed to exploit very high speed broadband networks are paving the way for gigabit communities becoming a new standard.  In 2012, President Obama's Executive Order on broadband deployment helped clear the way for building broadband networks  and announced a public private consortium of federal agencies, public and private educational institutions, and research facilities was formally introduced by the White House.

US-Ignite is described by the Obama Administration as a new, independent nonprofit "with a mission to catalyze 60 advanced, next-generation applications capable of operating on gigabit broadband networks over the next five years in six areas of national priority: education and workforce development, advanced manufacturing, health, transportation, public safety, and clean energy."

Earlier this month, FCC Chair Julius Genachowki announced a Gigabit City Challenge to help build ultra-high speed broadband networks in every state by 2015.

While a completely different initiative and purpose, Gig.U and Gigabit Squared also announced a joint venture to distribute $200 million for broadband projects to spur economic development. The Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program will enable up to six broadband projects to receive $200 million in funding. The concept under which the program operates is that communities and broadband stakeholders within communities are the most effective advocates for driving economic opportunities. With a vested interest in the success of broadband projects, communities work together to maximize benefits and leverage existing assets.




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