NSF has awarded $6 million dollars to US Ignite to build a “living lab of testbeds for smart gigabit applications” in Champaign-Urbana and 14 other U.S. communities.
“The timing of the US Ignite NSF grant is perfect for UC2B and our partner cities. As any of the gig fiber projects nationally will share, it takes time to build a new network from scratch. For UC2B we built the network and connected community anchor institutions and low-income households in the first phase with federal funding through BTOP. We are now working through a public private partnership with ITV-3 to expand service to the other 90% of our community. And it’s exciting that in parallel the University of Illinois and the Urbana-Champaign private sector and high-tech community now have funding through US Ignite to continue to broaden opportunities for new research, development and community engagement to build next generation applications focused on public benefit.”
-Jon Gant, Professor and Director of the Center for Digital Inclusion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and UC2B Board Member (Vice Chair)
“UC2B and the University communities are poised to bring strong next-generation application development to support vulnerable populations as they become connected to broadband through the #ConnectHome initiative. Access to next generation applications around education, healthcare, economic advancement, and green energy will elevate this community and will broaden the reach of next-generation knowledge.”
-Mark Henderson, CIO for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UC2B Board Member
View a press release with more information from US Ignite here.