The city of Greensboro, North Carolina has been named a Smart Gigabit Community by US Ignite and awarded a grant from Charlotte-based Segra to expand broadband and increase connectivity options in the city.
Tag: "us ignite"
US Ignite has announced a new initiative called Project Overcome which will fund five projects looking for novel solutions to broadband connectivity problems in communities around the United States.
Th endeavor, funded by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant, will “support the selection and buildout of five proof-of-concept network deployments designed to connect both rural and urban communities in novel ways.” More than three-quarters of the funding will go directly to project awards, with the aim to:
[C]ollect data to measure the technical and social impacts of different connectivity strategies [in order to] discover patterns of success that can be repeated on a larger scale across the country, and to catalog the distinctions that emerge based on variations in the communities served.
The Application Process
An RFP will come out in the next few weeks, with winners chosen by early spring. From the website, competitive applications will:
Be chosen based on the use of innovative technologies, such as mesh networks and new spectrum access solutions, as well as creative deployment models that leverage both public and private sector partners. Participating teams should draw from some combination of academic, nonprofit, industry, government, student, and volunteer partners. The five proposals ultimately selected will reflect a mix of population density characteristics, demographics, geographic regions, housing types, local and industry collaborations, and technical approaches.
US Ignite is an initiative of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) which aims to advance connectivity efforts around the country. It leans heavily on creating partnerships between private, public, educational, and nonprofit entities to develop next-generation network technology, experiment with open access, and explore the potential of software-defined networks. As part of this effort it plays a role in advancing the...Read more
"Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities," [pdf] a white paper from US Ignite and Altman Solon, explores the various models that cities can employ to connect their residents and businesses.
The paper covers five approaches that communities can take to improve Internet access, from full private broadband to full municipal broadband with varying types of public-private partnerships in between. Of all the well-connected American cities (where 50% of residents have access to 250 Megabits per second broadband speeds), the paper finds that 8% are served a form of municipal network.
To help local government officials figure out which model is right for their community, US Ignite and Altman Solon include a number of helpful charts, decision trees, and other considerations.
Regardless of the exact broadband model, cities can play an important role in connecting underserved communities. The paper ends:
Although the digital divide that remains in our country is unlikely to be fully closed soon, municipalities can still be powerful agents of change. We hope this study will pass along the hard-won lessons of prior programs and aid municipalities considering broadband expansion to better serve their residents. The faster we work together to bridge the digital divide, the sooner we all benefit from the technologies of the future.
Download "Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities" at the link or below.
July has seen the release of two complementary reports which shed light on two of the topics we care about a great deal around these parts: availability and affordability of Internet access, and municipally-enabled networks.
The Open Technology Institute at New America recently released “The Cost of Connectivity 2020” [pdf], which digs into the factors (some of which are explicit and others hidden) dictating how much Americans can expect to spend for Internet access in comparison to Europe, Asia, Canada, and Mexico. They conclude that, compared to the rest of the world, a lack of competition, regulation, and accurate data collection by the FCC has led to higher prices, slower speeds, exorbitant data cap fees, and deep digital divides running between those with high-speed access and those in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and low-income parts of American cities. And among its most compelling policy recommendations — based on data points from 296 standalone Internet plans in the United States — is that municipal networks offer a solution.
If OTI’s report outlines the deep and persistent problem of connectivity in the United States, US Ignite and Altman Solon’s “Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities” [pdf] provides a clear and thoughtful roadmap for local communities who ask “What can we do?” Above all else, the guide shows that high-speed broadband is a solvable proposition, and sketches out five models for local governments to follow according to their unique conditions. Like the OTI report, US Ignite and Altman Solon highlight the many inherent benefits of community-enabled networks.
Download the full reports at the bottom of this post.
Digging into the Data
The OTI report is based on data from 760 standalone Internet plans across 28 cities in North America, Europe, and Asia collected between June 2019 and March 2020 (though it also incorporates lessons learned from the current public health crisis). Across every type of connection (DSL, cable, and fiber) it found the U.S. to lag behind in at least one metric...Read more
David Young is a veteran of our Community Broadband Bits podcast, having been interviewed in episodes 182, 228, and 238. For reasons that are beyond this interviewer, he still has a job in Lincoln as the Fiber Infrastructure and Right of Way Manager. Just kidding David - you are such a friendly person I cannot help but say mean things about you due to my own character flaws. Don't worry folks, I'm just a little bit anxious to get out of 2017 alive. And does anyone actually read these podcast descriptions anyway?
Where were we? Ah yes - David consented to another interrogation while we were both in Atlanta for the Broadband Communities Economic Development conference. He updates us on the progress around the Fiber-to-the-Home network that Allo is building using conduit leased from Lincoln.
We also talk about Lincoln's progress in working with wireless carriers to deploy 5G and the role David played in helping the Nebraska Legislature develop appropriate deployment policies for the entire state. We wrap up talking about US IGNITE.
Ending 2017 with David Young is a privilege so you might want to ignore next week when our Community Broadband Networks staff discusses our past predictions for 2017 and what we are thinking about heading into 2018.
Thanks to Arne Huseby for...Read more
If you weren’t able to attend the Transforming Communities: Broadband Goals for 2017 and Beyond event in DC on Nov. 29 - 30, or were not able to watch the live stream, you can still be there in spirit. The November 30th panel discussions are now available to view on YouTube.
The entire video runs for 4:53 and includes discussion and comments from:
- Senator John Boozman (R-AR)
- Mayor Berke, Chattanooga, TN
- Susan Crawford, John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and co-director of the Berkman Center
- Blair Levin, Senior Fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings
- Gigi Sohn, Counselor to the Chairman at the Federal Communications Commission
A number of other leaders in the field of telecommunications participated in the panels and discussions, including our own Christopher Mitchell who led the panel discussion on "Leveraging High-Speed Internet for Success." The event was sponsored by Next Century Cities; the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), and US Ignite.
As 2016 comes to a close, we face a new connectivity landscape. Next Century Cities, SHLB, and US Ignite are coming together to help community leaders prepare for the future with smart policies and keys to expanding local broadband efforts. The organizations are presenting Transforming Communities: Broadband Goals for 2017 and Beyond, bringing together connectivity leaders from the world of federal, state, and local agencies, as well as policy advisors, mayors, and leaders from anchor institutions.
The entire event will be in Washington, DC, at the Google offices - 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 900. Participants will gather with a networking reception tonight at 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. The main event will be tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. EST.
Christopher, as Policy Director of Next Century Cities, will moderate the first panel tomorrow, titled "Leveraging High-Speed Internet for Success."
The Full Agenda:
- Welcome: John Burchett, State Policy Counsel at Google
- Welcome: Deb Socia, Next Century Cities, John Windhausen, SHLB, Bill Wallace, US Ignite
- Opening Remarks: Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, NTIA
- Keynote: Senator John Boozman (R-AR)
Leveraging High-Speed Internet for Success (First Panel)
- Mayor Berke, Chattanooga, TN
- Mayor Kirkham, Ammon, ID
- Ed Bostick, CEO, Colorado Telehealth Network
- S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools
- Crosby, Kemper, Head of Kansas City Public Library
Moderated by Chris Mitchell, Policy Director, Next Century Cities and Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative, Institute for Local Self Reliance
Broadband Policy Priorities for a New Administration (Second Panel)...Read more
On the heels of releasing our video on Ammon, Idaho, we wanted to go a little more in-depth with Bruce Patterson. Bruce is Ammon's Technology Director and has joined us on the show before (episodes 173 and 86). We recommend watching the video before listening to this show.
We get an update from Bruce on the most recent progress since we conducted the video interviews. He shares the current level of interest from the first phase and expectations moving forward.
But for much of our conversation, we focus on how Ammon has innovated with Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and what that means. We talk about how the automation and virtualization from SDN can make open access much more efficient and open new possibilities.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Thanks to Forget the Whale for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "I Know Where You've Been."
Burlington has seen ups and downs over the past few years but a new chapter is about to begin. The non-profit U.S. Ignite and the City are partnering to create BTV Ignite. The initiative will develop a gigabit community infrastructure and the applications that use it. With help from U.S. Ignite, Burlington will join the growing list of gigabit communities.
An advisory committee is fueling interest in the project. Mayor Miro Weinberger describes the effort as a way to develop a tech friendly local economy and increase access for individuals and institutions. A recent Government Technology article quoted the Mayor:
“We believe we’re well on our way to being the first city in the country that provides gigabit access to every student from kindergarten through college and even graduate school here in Burlington,” Weinberger said.
The City and its partner have developed five critical steps based on consultation with Kansas City, Chattanooga, and other gigabit communities:
1. Develop Structure to Foster Applications-Driven Energy
Much like the KC Digital Drive in Kansas City, [Executive Director of U.S. Ignite Bill] Wallace said the mayor’s advisory committee must play a key role in helping drive development.
2. Create the Most Robust Infrastructure
Wallace said this will be particularly necessary for schools, businesses and libraries.
3. Embrace Technology Through Community Events and Hackathons
By setting up a continuous stream of events like community hackathons, digital sandboxes and a hacker homes network similar to one developed in Kansas City, the city will be able to focus more on app development for specific capabilities, like cybersecurity or the development of complex systems.
4. Share Practices With Other Cities to Deploy Networks
This could also mean sharing practices on how to generate applications.
5. Tap into Federal Resources
Wallace said looking to federally funded resources like the National Science Foundation will be important when building out the infrastructure and developing applications.
Burlington hopes to secure a Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) rack for its University of Vermont campus. The rack would come from...Read more