May 23, 2012 By Tanya Roscorla
Ultra high-speed Internet will hit communities around six research universities, thanks to $200 million in funding made available by the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U) and the company Gigabit Squared on Wednesday, May 23.
Thirty-seven research universities make up Gig.U, which is on a mission to bring next-generation networks to universities and the communities that surround them. Gigabit Squared raised enough capital to support gigabit-speed networks in six Gig.U member-sponsored projects.
Through the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program, communities will speed up the process of bringing gigabit speed networks with private investments that take advantage of public capital. For a price, the program will serve neighborhoods from 5,000 up to 100,000 people.
By bringing networks up to gigabit speeds, Gig.U says it will cultivate economic growth and spark ideas to improve health care and education.
Between November 2012 and March 2013, they will announce the university communities that will receive these funds. In the chosen communities, the program will build networks that are 100 to 1,000 times faster than what those locations have today, according to Gigabit Squared.
This public-private partnership comes as Google is deploying gigabit connectivity in two communities that are set to become high-profile test cases.
Stanford University already has worked with Google to beta test its ultrahigh-speed broadband network. And Kansas City, Kan., signed an agreement with Google in 2011 for a gigabit speed network. Google changed the timeline once on the Kansas City project and will also miss its newer June 30 deadline, KansasCity.com reports.
Google is by no means the only company that has pursued the one-gig benchmark. Two years ago the public utility in Chattanooga, Tenn., deployed a one gigabit network that's available to all residents and businesses.
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