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On January 19, 2011, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted a roundtable discussion focused on how best to advance applications and services for next- generation networks across America. National Science Foundation (NSF) staff from the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and the Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI) participated in the meeting along with representatives from industry, academia, broadband infrastructure projects and providers, and other agencies in the US government. As a result of this meeting:

  1. Six city/regional broadband infrastructure providers agreed to open up their cities or regions for multi-disciplinary experimentation and interconnection.
  2. Staff from NSF’s Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) Project Office visited a number of cities and regions that already had broadband infrastructure (e.g., Chattanooga, TN; Cleveland, Ohio; Lafayette, LA; Philadelphia, PA; UTOPIA region in Utah; Washington, DC) to determine feasibility and costs to interconnect these islands of broadband with GENI campuses nationwide.
  3. NSF hosted a workshop on May 16, 2011, bringing together staff from these initial cities with entrepreneurs and researchers to brainstorm novel gigabit applications in areas of national priority that benefit segments of society (e.g., at-risk school children, home-bound elderly, citizens caught up in disasters or emergencies). This workshop was followed by a second one on June 9-10, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by Case Western University. This workshop focused on Living the Future Today and showcased a number of innovative gigabit applications.
  4. NSF plans to hold ideation contests and application developer challenges to reach out to developers and entrepreneurs who are not normally part of the NSF grantee community. More information on these contests and challenges will be posted on this site.

Achieving the goals of US Ignite will require the combined resources of industry, government, academia, foundations, and the venture capital community. US Ignite is forming a non-profit, public-private partnership whose mission is to make the US the world leader in applications and services for ultra-fast, software-defined networks. The partnership will be housed in a 501(c)(3) organization to facilitate coordination across the initiative and funding by commercial companies that choose to become sponsors of the non-profit. The partnership will be transparent to the public in its activities and operations.