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Gig.U Releases Request for Information (RFI) Framework to Bring Next Gen Networks to Campus Communities

Gig.U Releases Request for Information (RFI) Framework to Bring Next Gen Networks to Campus Communities

Media Contact: Katie Barr
Glen Echo Group
301.272.4879

Washington, DC, August 18, 2011 – Gig.U, the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, today released additional information about its upcoming Request for Information (RFI) process, which will be the first step in fulfilling Gig.U’s mission of accelerating development next-generation networks and services in university towns across the country. In an open letter, which was separately mailed to leading Internet service providers and other entities today, Gig.U specified the goals and outlined the principles and underlying assumptions that will guide the project’s efforts. The Gig.U RFI process aims to generate proposals from private sector partners that trigger a new generation of high-speed networking offerings for our nation’s leading research universities and their surrounding communities.

The goals of the RFI process are to:
• promote the deployment of next-generation networks and services across member communities to stimulate economic development;
• identify creative approaches to design, operate and finance self-sustaining next-generation networks for member communities while evaluating the trade-offs between these different approaches;
• gain an understanding of how differences between member communities influence the level of private sector interest in working with any individual community; and
• consider ways in which multiple Project communities can work together beyond the RFI process to improve the private sector business case for next-generation networks.

“This process will provide invaluable knowledge to our members as they work to bring cutting edge networking technology to our nation’s campuses and communities, and it will help the private sector explore new opportunities for creative partnerships and strategic deployments in some of the country’s most attractive target markets,” said Elise Kohn, Program Director of Gig.U.

By collaborating on this effort, Gig.U members will lower costs for themselves and improve the business economics for the private sector entities interested in working with the members while enhancing the benefits gained from shared information and experience. Following the release of the RFI, Gig.U will host a workshop on September 26th at the University of Chicago for interested private sector entities and other stakeholders to engage in an open dialogue with Gig.U’s university membership.

Gig.U is a broad-based group of over 30 universities and communities across the country working in an effort to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to universities and their surrounding communities. The Project, launched on July 27th, is led by Blair Levin, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program Fellow and former Executive Director of the National Broadband Plan, and Elise Kohn, formerly a Policy Advisor at the Federal Communications Commission.

For further information on the RFI, contact:
Elise Kohn, Program Director | ekohn@gig-u.org | 202-706-7612
or visit us @ www.gig-u.org

About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners. For more information, please visit: www.aspeninstitute.org
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