Ultra-High Speed Broadband Test Beds Get $200 Million

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In association with Gigabit U, whose executive director is former FCC broadband plan czar Blair Levin, Gigabit Squared has announced that $200 million in broadband development capital will be spent to fund six projects to accelerate deployment of high-speed, as in gigabit-per-second, networks.

Gigabit Squared, which specializes in IT-enabled infrastructure deployment, has teamed with Gig.U (The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project), to identify communities and help fund innovative efforts to build and test what they are billing as the first multicommunity gigabit deployment.

Their Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Project -- communities will be identified starting in November -- will create demonstration projects that will attempt to employ "underused network assets and capacity and create new capacity to deliver broadband at speeds of one hundred times and up to a thousand times faster than current speeds."

"What makes the Gigabit Squared approach so exciting is that it goes far beyond normal industry business models in how to successfully and creatively improve broadband access speeds for university communities, which is exactly the premise upon which Gig.U was founded," said Levin.

A group of 29 research universities last year launched Gig.U to deliver high-speed broadband to their campuses and environs.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who brought Levin to the FCC to head up his broadband plan, saluted the R&D effort.

"To drive U.S. global competitiveness, it's vital that we have super-fast broadband test beds for innovation. It's an important element of unleashing breakthrough innovations in health care, education, business services, and more. Today's announcement is a welcome and significant accomplishment by Blair Levin and the Gig.U team to help ensure America leads the world in bandwidth. As outlined in the National Broadband Plan, it's vital both that we connect every corner of America to broadband and that we spur next-generation innovation through next-generation broadband networks."

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