News

Happy New Year from Gig.U

On behalf of all who have worked on the Gig.U project, we want to thank everyone in our community for a 2014 that saw tremendous progress toward our common goal of accelerating the deployment of next generation broadband networks. We summarized that progress in our summer report on the Game of Gigs. The progress has continued this fall with a number of projects in our communities or in other ways related to the worked we did together. These include:

  • One Community in Northern, Ohio announcing the first commercially available 100 Gig Network;
  • A new backbone in Kentucky that will no doubt magnify the benefits of the efforts currently underway in Louisville and Lexington;
  • GWI, in Maine, announcing a project to bring a gig service to South Portland, Rockland and hopefully other Maine communities;
  • An ISP bringing gigabit service to Charlottesville, Virginia
  • AT&T beginning to deploy in North Carolina, thanks to the efforts of the NC NGN project; and
  • 46 municipalities in Connecticut, representing about half the population of the state, joining together in a process seeking a wire line upgrade.

A chart with a status on all the active Gig.U communities can be found here.

We expect more progress in 2015. Sometime early this year, we expect Google will publically disclose which of the 9 regions (which includes 3 regions with Gig.U communities) where it will deploy its Google Fiber. No doubt, incumbents and others will respond with their own efforts, thereby further accelerating progress.

We are also very excited about the work of the Next Century Cities , an organization of cities sharing ideas about how to improve the connectivity in their communities. In many ways, it is the logical next generation of the work we did. While we targeted university communities as the best place to experiment, the progress is such that an organization that broadens the reach to all is a welcome development.

We expect to see a lot of excitement about all these efforts, and the efforts of many others, at the 2015 Gigabit City Summit in Kansas City, where Blair will be a keynote speaker tomorrow. (If you are planning on being there, please let us know, as it would be great to have a get together.) The Game of Gigs will also be highlighted at the annual State of the Net conference in DC at the end of January where Blair will also be speaking. In the first quarter, we hope to publish a handbook for city officials, compiling the lessons we have learned in our efforts—giving them the benefit of the map that did not exist when we set out together on this journey several years ago. We are also working with Brookings Metropolitan Policy project to help elevate the broadband issues on the municipal agenda.

Further, we would note that President is scheduled to give a speech on affordable broadband in Iowa on Wednesday as part of the build up to the State of the Union. We expect this will help generate interest and federal policy initiatives directly related or immediately adjacent to our efforts.

As always, we welcome all thoughts on how best to proceed. And again, we hope you all had a happy holiday season.

Best,

Blair Levin, Ellen Satterwhite & Denise Linn