US Ignite gets $6M in NSF funding to build 15 community gigabit testbeds

US Ignite has received a $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build what it calls a "living lab" of testbeds that will show the utility of gigabit applications in 15 U.S. communities.

This initiative was announced during a White House event where President Obama pledged a number of commitments to support "smart cities."

With this grant, US Ignite said it will help participating communities to develop a "smart city app store" for interoperable and interconnected smart gigabit community applications.

A group of researchers, citizens, community organizations, technology companies, entrepreneurs, academics and federal, state and local governments will work on how to build applications that can be supported by gigabit broadband speeds.

The 15 participating communities include: Burlington, Vt.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Cleveland, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan. and Mo.; Madison, Wis.; the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN); Richardson, Texas; Utah Wasatch Front cities including Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah; Lafayette, La.; Urbana-Champaign, Ill.; and Austin, Texas.

Participating cities will fund and build two next-generation applications that will be shared among the larger, nationwide ecosystem of gigabit cities.

US Ignite said the awards "were granted to communities with strong support from local government, colleges and universities, non-profits, internet service providers and community anchor institutions."

With this $6 million grant in hand, US Ignite said that participants will be able to continue and expand its activities to help communities in building over 100 next-gen applications since 2012. All of the US Ignite communities will get access to a low-latency and ultra-fast network with locavore (local cloud) computing and storage capabilities that will support highly interactive and visually immersive experiences.

In addition, participating communities will get technical assistance from US Ignite staff and partners in designing and developing applications to take advantage of the new network connections including access to fund accelerators and technical staff.

Besides the NSF, US Ignite has attracted HP, which is providing network infrastructure and services for the 15 participating communities.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Comcast, Verizon, AT&T back Obama's US Ignite broadband initiative
President Obama to launch US Ignite broadband initiative