Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University, which banded with 36 other universities to create Gig.U. Short for the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, Gig.U works to speed up the deployment of next-generation ultra high-speed networks and applications across the U.S.
Marc Hoit, vice chancellor for IT and CIO of North Carolina State University, said research universities like his serve as hotbeds for innovation and as destination points for existing high-speed Internet. So it makes sense that these institutions would lead the nation’s transition to ultra high-speed connectivity.
Because they typically already have advanced network infrastructures, universities can move toward ultra high bandwidth connections more cost-effectively than many other organizations, Hoit said. But, while Raleigh is a fiber-rich community, Hoit said that fiber is not interconnected and it’s not a shared resource.
“It’s all owned and managed by different groups and generally we’ve held onto it very tightly,” he said. “Gig.U is attempting to get people to talk together and find a way to share those resources, to allow them to come together to form a bigger whole and everybody benefits.”