At least 17 million U.S. residents lack the basic Internet access necessary for remote work, online learning, and telemedicine. While ensuring greater connectivity has always been important, the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned a desire to deliver broadband to everyone into a critical priority for the nation. The goal of the OVERCOME project is to select, launch, and oversee five proof-of-concept efforts to deploy novel broadband technology solutions to both rural and urban underserved communities. These communities will be chosen to reflect a mix of density, demographics, regions of the United States, housing types, local and industry collaborations, and technical approaches.
To explore further strategies for broadband expansion, US Ignite has published a solicitation (including broadband network examples) calling for communities and their partners to participate in the OVERCOME project to connect the unconnected. Responding communities will propose their team members, identify underserved area(s) they will connect, and recommend specific technologies to be used for broadband delivery. US Ignite will select five strong and diverse proposals, oversee broadband deployment efforts, provide national publicity for the effort, and charter leading faculty to measure the effects of the project – both technical and social – as it evolves.
A webinar on Project OVERCOME took place November 10, 2020 at 11:00 AM Eastern. A recording of this webinar is now posted.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions is available.
Full proposals are due January 8, 2021.
Awards will be announced March 2021.
The results of the OVERCOME project will help guide efforts to create a more comprehensive response to connecting the unconnected by discovering patterns of success worth repeating on a larger scale and noting the distinctions that arise based on variations in the communities served.
Proof-of-concept deployments that OVERCOME will fund could include the network strategies listed below. These are examples only and should not be considered all-inclusive.
- Example A: Lay/String Your Own Fiber
- Example B: Rooftop WiFi
- Example C: U-NII Wireless Line-of-Sight to a Single Point <12 Miles
- Example D: CBRS GAA or PAL
- Example E: Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite
- Example F: Community Mesh Networking
- Example G: TV White Space Wireless (aka TVWS and Super-WiFi)
- Example H: Unlicensed 60 GHz and 90 GHz rooftop-to-rooftop at gigabit data rates
- Example J: Free-Space Optical rooftop-to-rooftop at gigabit data rates
- Example K: Education Broadband Service (EBS); Private LTE Waivers
- Project OVERCOME launch announcement – Press Release
- ‘Project Overcome’ seeks new ways to close digital divide – Broadband World News
- New $2M US Ignite project seeks ideas to fix digital divide – StateScoop