Gig.U partners with University of Florida, local utility to build Gigabit-capable network

Gig.U has established a pact with Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and the University of Florida (UF) to bring gigabit fiber connectivity to residents and businesses in the Innovation Square area surrounding the university's campus.

GRUCom, GRU's telecom unit, will begin offering its fiber-based service in Innovation Square to a small set of customers beginning this month. Later, it will extend the service to the Innovation District, which is still being built out, and is located between UF's main campus and downtown Gainesville.

Designed to drive collaboration between researchers at UF and local businesses, the Innovation District is located between West University Ave., Southwest 8th Ave., Southwest 13th St. and Southwest 6th St.

Gig.U, or the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, is a coalition that was formed last year in partnership with 30 research universities to bring Gigabit speed broadband to college campuses and surrounding communities to support the high bandwidth needs of education and health care.

"Entrepreneurs and technology leaders work in a competitive world where big ideas and enormous amounts of information need to move quickly," UF President Bernie Machen was quoted by The Gainesville Sun via a release announcing the broadband project. "This is just what's needed to attract those types of people to the Innovation District."

Eligible residential customers will pay $99 a month for a 50 Mbps speed tier, while business rates will be set on a case by case basis.

Gig.U continues to make progress with fiber broadband plans for its university members. Last month, Gig.U partner Case Western Reserve became one of the first universities to build out an on-campus 1Gbps-capable fiber network.

For more:
- The Gainesville Sun has this

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