In hopes of spurring economic growth and research development to their surrounding communities, 29 universities across the U.S. are partnering with the “Gig.U” project to bring ultra-high-speed Internet access to campuses and its neighboring areas.
The initiative aims to draw high-tech startups to the areas near the universities by providing Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps. These higher-speed Internet capabilities could potentially draw in companies focusing on huge amounts of data, such as those in the healthcare and energy industries.
“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,” Blair Levin, executive director of Gig.U wrote in the project’s blog. “Our strategy is simple. Utilize the best targets for such deployment and development“”university communities“”as test beds.”
She explained that university communities are the best targets because the private investment case is strongest as these communities combine lower costs of deployment with the highest level of demand.
Most of the universities joining the Gig.U project come from the Midwest or outside major cities. Some of these include Case Western Reserve University, Colorado State, Indiana University, Penn State and Arizona State.
“Gig.U members came together to address our unique connectivity gap,” said Lev Gonick, CIO and VP of IT services at Case Western Reserve. “We believe a small amount of investment can yield big returns for the American economy and our society.“