On behalf of many colleagues in Universities and University communities throughout the United States, I am pleased to announce the formation of Gig.U: the university community next generation innovation project.
We are very excited about this Project because we believe the next generation of networks will trigger a new generation of opportunities; opportunities that will hugely benefit our country and the world.
Our mission is simple: accelerate the deployment of world-leading, next generation networks in the United States in a way that provides an opportunity to lead in the next generation of ultra high speed network services and applications.
Our strategy is simple. Utilize the best targets for such deployment and development—university communities—as test beds.
University communities are the best targets for two reasons. First, the private investment case is strongest as these communities combine lower costs of deployment with the highest level of demand. Second, the public benefit case is the strongest as these are the communities most likely to use massive bandwidth, not just to consume, but to create.
Our tactical plan is simple. Aggregate sufficient demand and then, through an intelligent conversation with current and potential suppliers, as well as a market-based mechanism, create incentives for private capital to deploy next generation networks in a critical mass of university communities.
We are combining lessons learned from Economic Development Zones, Spectrum Auctions and other successful initiatives to achieve our mission.
The potential benefits from this project are bountiful. They include:
- Economic growth, investment and job creation;
- An improved platform for research;
- An improved platform for small business development;
- New ways to distribute the benefits of the information revolution to all parts of the country;
- New approaches to health care, education, job training and other critical social needs.
While there is a lot of discussion about declining American influence and power in the world’s economy, America still is the leader in two of the most important sectors for the global, information economy: research universities and the broadband ecosystem. This effort, which builds on that foundation as well as the efforts of many, marries those strengths in a way that we hope will not only enable the continuation of that leadership but will serve as the platform for growth and leadership in many other sectors as well.
-Blair Levin, Executive Director