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 challenges—from climate change to equitable growth to improved health—will 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.”