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Utah Part of US Ignite Partnership

Broadband Cable

Utah is going to be a test lab for the use of super high speed broadband. The Salt Lake area is one of 25 communities involved in a new federal initiative designed to speed the development of next generation applications that can operate on ultrafast networks.

It’s called the US Ignite Partnership. The University of Utah, UTOPIA, and Utah Education Network - or UEN - are all a part of it. The idea is to create a national network of communities and campuses that already have super speed broadband services. This network will become a test-bed for designing and deploying applications that take advantage of ultra-fast, programmable, next-generation internets. UEN Technical Director Jim Stewart says networking can’t be done in isolation. He’s looking to the federal government to provide leadership and vision.

“It’s almost like going back to the sixties and President Kennedy saying we’re going to land on the moon by the end of the decade," Stewart says. "Everybody could focus on that and get behind that. So what we really need the federal government to do is - they can tell us the direction we ought to be going and get us cooperating and working together.”

The primary goal of the US Ignite Partnership will be to catalyze 60 next-generation applications over the next five years in areas of national priority, including education and workforce development, health, transportation, public safety, and clean energy. The National Science Foundation is committing $20 million to prototype and deploy new technologies.

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