Tuesday, November 08, 2011

US Ignite - building gigabit applications

Further to my last post on gigibit test beds, I came across US Ignite, a project "to spark the development of gigabit applications and services in areas of national priority".

US Ignite will perform three activities:
  1. Stitching together a national at-scale network testbed of cities and campuses with real users, which can be used as a platform to launch novel gigabit applications and services;
  2. Creating novel gigabit applications and services by funding researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs working in areas of national priority; and
  3. Developing a Public Private Partnership that will govern the contributions made by industry to this pre-commercial effort; coordinate developer community efforts; and convene the Partners for strategic planning and sharing of best practices.
This quote sums up nicely the dilemma the project is hoping to address, the "chicken or the egg" broadband question:
"The US Ignite initiative aims to accelerate gigabit application development and use across the country by breaking a fundamental deadlock: there is insufficient investment in gigabit applications that can take advantage of advanced network infrastructure because such infrastructure is rare and dispersed. And conversely, there is little new investment in advanced broadband infrastructure because there are few advanced applications to justify it. US Ignite will break this deadlock by providing incentives for imagining, prototyping, and developing gigabit applications and by building out a pre-commercial high-bandwidth infrastructure on which people and organizations on campuses and in cities can innovate."
The project is still at an early stage, publishing a request for whitepapers from interested institutions and commercial partners. Further information in this blog post from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy; a project to keep a close eye on to ensure we don't limit our ambitions to the constraints of the present, as I've said previously.

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