US Ignite, a high-speed broadband initiative that aims to unite private industry, public agencies and nonprofits to drive buildout efforts forward, will be launched today by President Barack Obama.
Broadband companies and groups--including Internet2, Merit Network, Utah Education Network, UTOPIA, and Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband--will join US Ignite, according to the NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration), and network partners include providers Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA).
According to Broadcasting & Cable, citing a news release, corporate and nonprofit entities in 25 cities across the United States will partner to "create a national network of communities and campuses with ultra-fast, programmable broadband services, operating at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second."
Among government agencies participating in the initiative, the National Science Foundation is taking a lead role and expanding the current GENI (Global Environment for Networking Innovations) project, linking a dozen-plus universities.
On Wednesday, Obama signed an execuitive order that contains a "dig once" provision to help building out infrastructure. By adopting a "uniform approach" in allowing carriers to build through government properties and along roadways, the US Ignite program claims that broadband construction can be made up to 90 percent cheaper and more efficient, it was reported.
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