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Greensboro chosen as a Smart Gigabit Community

A Greensboro Ignite steering group consisting of members from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors, will be formed to accelerate the city’s innovation activities.

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The Greensboro initiative is made possible by a three-year grant from fibre provider Segra
The Greensboro initiative is made possible by a three-year grant from fibre provider Segra

The US city of Greensboro in North Carolina has been chosen as the latest Smart Gigabit Community.

 

It was selected by non-profit US Ignite, which launched the Smart Gigabit Communities network with the National Science Foundation in 2015, and fibre infrastructure communications provider, Segra.

 

US Ignite aims to accelerate the smart city movement. It fosters the creation of applications and digital experiences that have the potential to transform areas such as healthcare, education and job skills training, public safety, energy, and advanced manufacturing.

 

First smart cites collaboration

 

The Greensboro initiative is made possible by a three-year grant from Segra, one of the largest independent fibre networks in the eastern US. It marks the first smart cities collaboration between US Ignite and Segra.

 

A Greensboro Ignite steering group consisting of around 10 members from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors, will be formed and these will members actively engaged and motivated to accelerate Greensboro’s innovation activities.

 

They will identify and prioritise resources needed to complete a detailed work plan to enhance community-wide innovation.

 

The steering group will map out a more tightly defined innovation district, with strong support from local stakeholders, and will identify key regional core capabilities as pillars of the innovation district.

“This partnership will help advance Greensboro’s smart city initiatives, which focus on expanding broadband and connectivity, promoting innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship”

Following the confirmation of these, the members of the steering group will assess current network challenges and opportunities with a goal of expanding local internet access. In addition, the group will create a pilot implementation plan to address challenges – including privacy, cost, placement, and coverage – and expand internet options for underserved areas of Greensboro.

 

“This partnership will help advance Greensboro’s smart city initiatives, which focus on expanding broadband and connectivity, promoting innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship,” said Jane Nickles, the City of Greensboro’s chief information officer. “Through this partnership, we will have access to resources that will enable us to accelerate our efforts to expand high-speed internet options and put a spotlight on innovation in Greensboro.”

 

Sharing challenges and successes

 

Nickles and other members of the City of Greensboro’s Information Technology Department will attend meetings with all US Ignite partners and mentor networks to share updates, challenges, successes, and plans for future collaboration. US Ignite will gather information and pass opportunities to Greensboro stakeholders, all of which will help generate national publicity for Greensboro and identify federal grant opportunities that align with Smart Greensboro partnership initiatives.

 

The Smart Gigabit Communities network includes 35 member communities working both individually and collaboratively to advance connectivity and new smart city applications. Partner communities leverage broadband and IoT networks to develop innovative new services, drive local job growth, and improve quality of life. Through the US Ignite ecosystem, communities gain access to shared technologies and best practices, as well as new funding and partnership opportunities.

 

“We strongly support the Innovation District’s mission of developing Greensboro into an environment that fosters job growth, economic development, and learning and inspiration by bringing innovative people and organisations together, and we are confident they will be the catalyst for many exciting technological developments in Greensboro,” said William Wallace, chairman of US Ignite.

 

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