Post authored by Glenn Ricart

US Ignite wants to congratulate the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on the announcement today that it will lead a team selected by the National Science Foundation to create and deploy a new national $20 million advanced networking and edge computing infrastructure called FABRIC. We also have small role to play in the deployment. US Ignite will be interconnecting FABRIC with highly capable community gigabit infrastructures in our Smart Gigabit Communities. The new FABRIC infrastructure will be used for testing novel internet architectures with a goal of creating a faster, more secure internet.

The FABRIC award is the result of fierce competition Foundation-wide for the best new midscale research infrastructures. Ilya Baldin, director of Network Research & Infrastructure at RENCI, who will serve as one of five principal investigators on the project, said “FABRIC represents large-scale network infrastructure where the internet can be reimagined, and a variety of ideas can be tried out and compared.”

Glenn Ricart, CTO of US Ignite and one of the FABRIC project investigators, adds “With so much data being generated in Smart Gigabit Communities, it’s important to have access to the most capable networking and computing infrastructure nationally available. Advanced fiber and wireless networks are the foundation of a Smart Gigabit Community.”

To find community interconnections points fast enough to work with FABRIC, US Ignite will be utilizing Digital Town Squares—resilient, local interconnection points it has been helping create in Smart Gigabit Communities.  Speeds of up to a terabit per second (1000 gigabits per second) will be connected to Digital Town Squares. Local universities connecting to a Digital Town Square (DTS) will be among the first to be able to take advantage of the new FABRIC infrastructure via the DTS.

US Ignite’s participation in FABRIC is a natural extension of its mission to use advanced networking to enable economic development, new tech jobs, and new academic research at the leading edge of smart and connected communities. US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities that have not established a Digital Town Square can talk to US Ignite about getting one underway. FABRIC itself will begin deployment in about one year after its own research and development phase.