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White House Announces that Salisbury will join US Ignite “Smart Cities” Initiative

Fibrant’s 10 Gig Network provides foundation for innovation & collaboration

SALISBURY, NC – Today, the White House and US Ignite announced that Salisbury, NC has joined the Smart Gigabit Communities program, a network of communities that have each committed to leveraging next-generation smart city and Internet technologies to keep pace with the world’s rapidly changing, information technology-driven economy.

In today’s “Fact Sheet”, the Administration announced “Over $80 million in New Federal Investment and a Doubling of Participating Communities in the White House Smart Cities Initiative” noting that, “With nearly two-thirds of Americans living in urban settings, many of our fundamental challengesfrom climate change to equitable growth to improved healthwill require our cities to be laboratories for innovation. The rapid pace of technological change, from the rise of data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and ubiquitous sensor networks to autonomous vehicles, holds significant promise for addressing core local challenges.”

The Smart Gigabit Communities Program, which is funded largely by the National Science Foundation (NSF), was first announced during the launch of the Smart Cities Initiative last September. Working in partnership with US Ignite, each Smart Gigabit Community will develop two gigabit applications or gigabit public services that provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community. Each city also agrees to share those applications with the other communities in the network.

According to the release, the White House inaugurated the Smart Cities Initiative to make it easier for cities, Federal agencies, universities, and the private sector to work together to research, develop, deploy, and testbed new technologies that can help make our cities more inhabitable, cleaner, and more equitable.”

In September of 2015, Catawba College, hosted the launch of Fibrant in partnership with Calix. Fibrant’s fiber-optic network was made available citywide, promoting Salisbury as America’s First 10 Gig City. Subsequently, Catawba College created CEED, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Experiential Development. CEED provides entrepreneurs with the tools to succeed as a small business owner, offering technology and funding to bring students’ business concepts to reality.

Continuing this spirit of collaboration, the City of Salisbury hopes that partnership between their Fibrant 10 Gig network and Livingstone College can bring forth new innovation. Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., President of Livingstone College, shared his vision for this initiative saying, “It is our goal at Livingstone College to equip and enable our students to be prepared for leadership and service in the global society. Our continuing collaboration with the City of Salisbury represents unparalleled opportunity for our students in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology to reach this goal. Because of this partnership, our students will have an unfettered platform upon which to accelerate their success as innovators in the 21st Century.

“Solving society’s most vexing problems requires global thinking,” said US Ignite Chief Operating Officer Joe Kochan. “That’s why we’re pleased to have these four new cities, including our first international city, Adelaide, join the Smart Gigabit Communities program. This project will accelerate the development of next-generation applications while building a critical mass of hyper-connected communities which will have ripple effects: if advanced networks are fast, responsive, and widely available, companies can and will produce more capable applications to run on those networks, which in turn brings new users online and increases use among those who already subscribe to broadband services.”

“Salisbury is excited to be one of the four communities working with US Ignite on leveraging our broadband utility for increased technological knowledge to contribute solution to communities, both locally and globally,” said Salisbury, N.C. Mayor Karen K. Alexander.

In addition to Salisbury, the cities of Adelaide, Australia (also the first city outside the United States to join), Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Washington, District of Columbia are each committing to developing two gigabit applications that serve community needs. 


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