News & Events

US Ignite, Inc. Announces Lincoln, Nebraska will Join Rapidly Growing Network of Smart Gigabit Communities

November 29, 2017 –Lincoln, Nebraska – Today, US Ignite, Inc. announced that Lincoln, Nebraska is the newest participant in the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) program. US Ignite is a nonprofit that spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2015, US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities program is creating “living lab” environments for the next generation of gigabit applications. Lincoln joins 24 other national and international communities participating in the SGC program.

“Bold ideas, like Ignite-Lincoln and the Lincoln Broadband Project, are fuel for innovation and progress,” said Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler. “This public-private partnership creates the digital infrastructure that gives our entrepreneurs and students high-speed internet, supercomputer access to researchers and other innovators across the nation to build next-generation technology.”

National media recently billed Lincoln as “Silicon Prairie” and “a mini Palo Alto.” Lincoln’s entrepreneurial spirit is accompanied by a strong sense of community identity and pride in its neighborhood life, making the community particularly unique among its counterparts in large urban environments. Lincoln provides a counterpoint to the notion that only urban centers can lead innovation.

“Lincoln’s designation as a Smart Gigabit Community is another example of the power of partnerships among our University, our city and local businesses that have spurred technical innovation and economic growth,” said Ronnie Green, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). “The university is providing the technical leadership of Profs. Mehmet Can Vuran and Byrav Ramamurthy, and our Holland Computing Center’s high-performance computing infrastructure to support this citywide gigabit wireless network that will accelerate the growth of Lincoln’s growing startup ecosystem.”

Smart Gigabit Communities is a collaboration among US Ignite, universities, municipalities, community anchor institutions like hospitals and schools, nonprofits, network carriers and ISPs.   These organizations are focused on developing smart gigabit applications to address local community needs, such as education, workforce development, public safety, community health, smart energy, and transportation.

Each member of the program has committed to develop two gigabit applications or gigabit services per year which provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community. They also agree to share those applications with others in the Smart Gigabit Communities program.

Ignite Lincoln, led by the City of Lincoln, will collaborate with two core partners - UNL and ALLO, a local telecommunications company to create the Lincoln Digital Town Square. Ignite-Lincoln will use the new gigabit Digital Town Square infrastructure to connect our entrepreneurship partners – Fuse Coworking (FUSE), NMotion Accelerator (NMotion), Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship (NCE), and Nebraska Global (NG) – to the next generation of applications infrastructure. NG will provide community applications development leadership, angel investing evaluation, and business model assessments for the Ignite-Lincoln entrepreneurial teams. The potent combination of super computer hardware, Internet 2 resources, gigabit fiber networks, and advanced wireless connectivity will make Ignite-Lincoln a valuable addition to the Smart Gigabit Communities ecosystem.

In addition to UNL, ALLO is a key partner in the construction and deployment of Lincoln’s state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-home gigabit network. When complete in 2019, the network will encompass more than 105,000 residences and 20,000 businesses/governmental institutions. ALLO is donating operating expense of the high-speed network and staff time to the project.

FUSE Coworking, which offers workspace to entrepreneurs in the heart of Lincoln’s downtown business district is donating office space to Ignite-Lincoln management and operations teams. Other project partners include the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and NMotion to provide seed financial support for commercialization of new technologies and Beehive Industries and TEDxLincoln to provide private enterprise guidance. The City is investing $15,000 annually over the next three years from the Broadband Enterprise Fund.

“Lincoln is an exciting addition to our network of Smart Gigabit Communities,” said William Wallace, Executive Director of US Ignite. “Given the spirit of innovation in Lincoln, we have no doubt that the community will bring enormous expertise and innovation to the SGC Program.”

About US Ignite, Inc.

US Ignite, Inc. spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. The nonprofit organization helps to accelerate new wired and wireless networking advances from research to prototype to full-scale smart community and interconnected national deployments. US Ignite, Inc.’s Smart Gigabit Communities program accelerates the adoption of ultra-fast, programmable fiber and wireless networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those networks. US Ignite, Inc., together with Northeastern University, also now operates the National Science Foundation-funded Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office (PPO), coordinating a $100 million public-private partnership of federal agencies and over 30 leading companies and technology associations supporting the deployment of wireless research platforms in multiple communities across the United States. Together, these collaborative efforts among research universities, local communities and industry will yield breakthroughs in new wired and wireless networking technology. The applications and services that result from this work will help enrich residents’ lives while generating improved, potentially transformative, community services, investment in high-growth startups, and high-skilled jobs.

Media Contact:

Caitlin Scott
Full Court Press Communications
[email protected]