White House Announces Launch of US Ignite

Today, the White House announced the launch of US Ignite, a public-private partnership intended to capitalize on the possibilities of ultra high-speed networks by “igniting” the market for next generation applications and services.

The primary goal of the US Ignite Partnership will be to catalyze approximately 60 advanced, next-gen applications over the next five years in six areas of national priority: education and workforce development, advanced manufacturing, health, transportation, public safety, and clean energy.

This project’s impressive partners, including several Gig.U member communities, have demonstrated commitments to driving network-based innovation including the following:

  • Gig.U member Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) is announcing its involvement as a US Ignite community and a future testbed for the development of next-generation applications, and
  • Cleveland-based nonprofit, OneCommunity is set to convene Northeast Ohio “Smart Region” as anchor participants in US Ignite.
What is the relationship between Gig.U and US Ignite? 

While Gig.U is focused on spurring the deployment of next generation networks, US Ignite focuses on a different aspect of the gigaband ecosystem: the applications and services. Networks, devices and applications drive each other in a virtuous cycle. If networks are fast, reliable and widely available, more powerful, more capable devices to connect to those networks follow. These devices, in turn, encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to develop exciting applications and content. These new applications draw new and existing users—beginning the cycle again. We believe both approaches will increase the probability of bringing about the next American upgrade.

Gig.U Executive Director Blair Levin best emphasized the importance of this mission when he stated that:

Just as manufacturing grew in the 19th and 20th centuries by combining new sources of power with new modes of transportation, we believe the fastest growing parts of the economy of our time – the sectors in which better understanding of data is the principal source of wealth creation – require us to combine the best of human capital with the best of bandwidth.
Broadband is the commons of collaboration for our time; combining the communities that surround our research institutions with world-leading bandwidth will demonstrate that high-performance collaboration – not one-way video, not restaurant reviews, not discount shopping – is the killer app of the next generation of the Internet.
By accelerating those next-generation services and networks, we can ignite a new generation of innovation and new approaches to solving some of society’s most vexing problems and, in the process, enrich our communities and our economy.
Gig.U applauds this announcement and look forward to working with US Ignite and its partners to ensure the United States’continues to lead in internet innovation.


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