Gig. U sees positive responses to ultra-high-speed network RFI

By Joan Engebretson | Connected Planet | December 12, 2011


The Gig U project said late last week that it has received “dozens of favorable responses” to its request for information (RFI) seeking approaches for accelerating the deployment of ultra-high-speed networks to university communities around the country.

Gig U, headed up by National Broadband Plan crafter Blair Levin, aims to provide a structure for universities to work together to develop a business case for network operators to deploy ultra-high-speed networks. Thirty-seven U.S. universities now are participating in Gig U—up from 28 when the initiative was announced in July (CP: GigU project seeks university carrier collaboration to deploy ultra high speed networks).

Gig U’s next steps will be to hold workshops with its members regarding ways to move the deployment process forward using new business models and technologies suggested by the RFI process—a step the organization hopes to accomplish in the first quarter of 2012. Also on the agenda is a plan to create formal requests for proposal (RFPs) to support test-bed networks.

The universities participating in Gig U certainly seem to have found strength in numbers—and if a trial network operated by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is any indication, that strength may not only benefit the universities but also the communities in which they are located. The Case Western trial network brought innovative telemedicine, security and other applications over 1 Gb/s connections to homes in the community.


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