AUSTIN, Texas — At the Smart Cities Connect Conference held June 25-28 at the Austin Convention Center, US Ignite and the National Science Foundation announced five new cities that have joined the Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) program, which "accelerates the development of advanced gigabit applications that cannot run on current networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those applications," according to the SGC website.

Each "gigabit" city receives support from the National Science Foundation to use its physical and wireless network infrastructure as an enabler of smart applications to solve specific community problems.

Cities joining the program this year include:

Washington, D.C. Albuquerque, N.M. Phoenix San Diego Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee These selected communities join the ranks of 19 other previously selected cities, including Austin; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Lafayette, La.; Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas; and Cleveland.

A formal request for proposals will be forthcoming in the next few weeks to identify two additional cities to join the Smart Gigabit Communities network.