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There's a New $200 Million Fund for Super-High-Speed Broadband Projects

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 23 2012

An initiative to build and test gigabit-speed broadband networks is set to fund up to six next-generation Internet access projects across the country, fueled by a new $200 million broadband development funding program, Gigabit Squared and Gig.U announced this morning.

Through this partnership, funding can be released to projects sponsored by members of Gig.U, an initiative to spur ultrahigh-speed Internet infrastructure development by getting universities, college towns and telecommunications companies at the same table. Gigabit Squared, a digital economic development corporation, is partnering with Gig.U to create this $200 million fund, called the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program. The New York Times reported today that Gigabit Squared, which is based in Cleveland, is in negotiations with its first university and plans to make announcements about timing and participation later this year.

The selected six Gig.U member-sponsored projects will be announced between November 2012 and March 2013. Over 30 research research universities in the U.S are a part of Gig.U, including Case Western Reserve University, Florida State University, Penn State University and Virginia Tech.

Companies involved in the project are Corning, G4S, Juniper Networks, Alcatel Lucent, Calix, Ericson, Level 3, Genexis, OnDemand, Baller Herbst, which have been involved, which have been involved in developing broadband programs in the Cleveland-Ohio, Chattanooga-Tennessee, Lafayette-Louisiana, Jackson-Mississippi, Topeka-Kansas areas and the Virgin Islands.

According to the statement, the project will feature a framework to create new capacity and spur development, including community service applications that promote better health, education and community services, the use of underutilized network assets and capacity and local investment to drive services and unlock long-term value and sustainability and digital economic development strategies to aggregate revenues and lower the overall costs of scaling gigabit-broadband.