Gigabit Squared, a municipal broadband provider, on Tuesday won a Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge award under which the state will invest $2 million to help support the service provider's Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP).
Following the launch of Chicago's recent WiFi initiative by its Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gigabit Squared will use the $2 million award to build out a Gbps-enabled wireline fiber and wireless network in Chicago's Mid-South Side.
In addition to the $2 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Gigabit Squared will get additional $1 million from the University of Chicago and $5 million from its Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program and its investors.
Under the terms of the agreement with the university, Gigabit Squared will share information and get input on the project from people that live in the communities where they are building out the hybrid fiber/wireless network.
During the first phase of the project, the network will bring Gbps speed services to over 4,825 residents, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Later phases of the project could potentially extend the service to almost 210,000 residents who live in over 79,000 households as well as the 10,000 commercial businesses in the area it will serve.
The significance of this project is that it will serve as a test bed for Gigabit Squared's Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP), which was developed in partnership with The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U). Going forward, the service provider said it plans to launch similar projects "in six selected university communities across the country."
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