Remember the Google Fiber effort from last year? Of course you do. While the big GOOG made the wrong decision by choosing a city other than Tempe, the chase for speed in our region is far from over! Check out these details below from the City of Tempe.
Tempe and 28 communities, universities launch ultra high-speed network effort
A group of 29 universities and communities across the country, including the City of Tempe and Arizona State University, are seeking to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to stimulate innovation and research through a new venture, Gig U.
Gig U: The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project believes that improvements to these networks drive economic growth and stimulate a new generation of solutions addressing critical needs, such as health care and education.
Believing this to be an important mission, the City of Tempe and ASU participated in the effort to bring Google fiber to the community last year. Thousands of people from the community sent Tweets, emails, videos and notes to Google encouraging them to pick Tempe. Check out the video message below that ASU and the city of Tempe sent to Google.
While Google chose another city, neither Tempe nor ASU gave up on the quest for ultra high-speed.
“This might be the most important effort for our community,” said Councilmember Onnie Shekerjian, Chair of Tempe’s Technology Committee. “Innovation drives today’s economy. This kind of connectivity would be enticing to new technology businesses looking for a corporate office as well as to researchers everywhere. Faster speeds will ensure that Tempe stays at the forefront of innovation and creativity.”
Beyond research at ASU, Tempe is home to a significant number of technology companies, such as Medtronic, First Solar, and Limelight Networks. These could benefit from increased speeds, as could those people who do research out of their home or in coworking spaces and tech incubators like LaunchSpot.
“We know that our researchers have helped to improve solar energy technology and created devices of galactic importance, like some of the features on the Mars Rover, said Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. “What we don’t know is how many great ideas and revolutionary products wait to see the light of day while network bandwidth and computer resources play catch up.”
Communities like Tempe increasingly depend on high-speed networks to educate, collaborate and share large amounts of information instantaneously. Research in real time has fueled the growth of the global information economy, yet today’s market for bandwidth services does not address the particular needs of university communities.
“Access to reliable and consistent high-performance computing is increasingly important at a research university. Enabling high-speed access to advanced computing resources enables Arizona State University to expand research in a broad variety of disciplines including the life sciences, aerospace, sustainability and national security. As a member of Gig U, ASU continues to power transformational discoveries and practical innovations that solve problems affecting our community, the region and our nation,” said Gordon Wishon, ASU Chief Information Officer.
Gig U universities and their surrounding communities have the most favorable conditions for a market-based, ultra high-speed broadband strategy, including dense populations and high demand from institutions and residential customers. These communities have long served as partners and test-beds for advances in market segments ranging from healthcare and education to technology and energy.
Through an open Request for Information (RFI) process, Gig U will gather data on these specific segments with an intent to inform high-speed service providers of new implementation approaches, and to enable competition to bring high-speed networks to research communities. The group aims for the RFI process translating into tailored Requests for Proposals for deploying cutting edge networking technology to campuses and communities in a matter of years, not decades.
The membership of Gig U includes:
Arizona State University
Case Western Reserve University
Colorado State University
George Mason University
Michigan State University
North Carolina State University
Penn State University
University of Alaska
University of Chicago
University of Florida
University of Hawaii
University of Illinois
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Missouri
University of Montana
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina
University of South Florida
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Wake Forest University
West Virginia University