Friday, June 22, 2012

US Ignite partnership launches

Earlier this month President Obama announced the US Ignite partnership (see this previous post):
"The US Ignite Partnership will create a new wave of services that take advantage of state-of-the-art, programmable broadband networks running up to 100 times faster than today’s Internet. By bringing software developers and engineers from government and industry together with representatives from communities, schools, hospitals, and other institutions that will benefit from faster and more agile broadband options, the partnership aims to speed up and increase the development of applications for advanced manufacturing, medical monitoring, emergency preparedness, and a host of other services. These applications will improve services to Americans and drive job creation, promote innovation, and create new markets for American businesses."
Focusing on new applications that can exploit speeds of up to 1Gbps, this new partnership will:
"...create a national network of communities and campuses with ultra-fast, programmable broadband services, operating at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.  This network will become a test-bed for designing and deploying next-generation applications to support national priorities areas such as education, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing. US Ignite will challenge students, startups, and industry leaders to create a new generation of applications and services that meet the needs of local communities while creating a broad range of job and investment opportunities.  This initiative will open up countless new opportunities for households and small businesses, helping them experience the economic and community benefits of next-gen applications while demonstrating a path for other communities to join."
More information including details of projects and participants here and also on the White House Blog. Commentary from Broadband Breakfast:
"The three major elements of the US-Ignite initiative include, first, integrating research campuses, networks and cities by leveraging previous investment in network infrastructure through the use of the Global Environment of Network Investment (GENI). GENI which is a virtual research lab for scaled network experiements for the future internet is funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) which is the lead agency responsible for foundational research into software defined networking and public sector gigabit applications and services. The second element of the initiative involves jumpstarting at-scale experimentations on public sector applications and services through the NSF funded, Mozilla Open Innovation Challenges program that enables peer based learning and exchange through workshops and open source application development competitions. The third element is the creation of the US Ignite Partnership, a public private, independent non-profit organization to bring together industry, foundations and community partners and resources."
This from Talking Points Memo:
"The White House has not given a total cost estimate for how much money the government and private companies are collectively sinking into the US initiative, but the program doesn’t call for much new spending on its own, rather, it consolidates a number of formerly independent efforts by federal agencies and companies under one umbrella and under one goal: Prepare the country for an age when the Internet is way faster than what most users currently experience."
And this from industry analyst Craig Settles, highlighting the importance of local community involvement too:
"The Northeast Kingdom (NEK) of Vermont (Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties) spent probably less than 10% of what US Ignite partners plan to spend, but in a contest that offered lots of small-dollar prizes to the businesses that created the best uses of the Internet in their respective companies. 35 – 50 businesses created apps that met their needs. Some undoubtedly could be duplicated. Go for the big-buck, high-profile contest, but spend some of that money for smaller contests that get a lot of creativity bubbling up from the communities. So many peeps want to hit a grand slam when for many market segments the “killer app” will be the one that makes doing the basic job functions more effective or more efficient. There’s gold in the simple apps of life."
The launch of US Ignite also included the announcement of new measures to make broadband construction and deployment faster and cheaper, echoing this current EU consultation.

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