Researchers to assist with Smart Gigabit Communities project

· 3 min read

Researchers to assist with Smart Gigabit Communities project

Supercomputers stand at the ready in Nebraska's Schorr Center, which is the home to the Holland Computer Center.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Supercomputers stand at the ready in Nebraska's Schorr Center, which is the home to the Holland Computer Center.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has partnered with the City of Lincoln and US Ignite on a project that will establish a gigabit wireless network in the community.

Lincoln joins 24 other national and international communities participating in the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities program. Launched by US Ignite, a nonprofit organization that works to advance technology, the program is focused on developing smart gigabit applications to address local community needs. The US Ignite project was funded by the National Science Foundation.

“Bold ideas, like Ignite-Lincoln and the Lincoln Broadband Project, are fuel for innovation and progress,” said Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler. “This public-private partnership creates the digital infrastructure that gives our entrepreneurs and students high-speed internet, supercomputer access to researchers and other innovators across the nation to build next-generation technology.”

Mehmet Can Vuran

Chancellor Ronnie Green announced that Nebraska’s Mehmet Can Vuran, an associate professor of computer science and engineering; Byrav Ramamurthy, professor of computer science and engineering; and the Holland Computing Center will work to support the citywide gigabit wireless network.

“Lincoln’s designation as a Smart Gigabit Community is another example of the power of partnerships among our university, our city and local businesses that have spurred technical innovation and economic growth,” Green said.

Each member of the US Ignite program has committed to develop two gigabit applications or gigabit services per year that serve the local community. Participating communities also share the applications with others in the program.

Byrav Ramamurthy

Lincoln’s first project is developing software that can access unused wireless signals, allowing radios to broadcast on and listen to multiple frequencies.

Ignite Lincoln, which is led by city officials, will partner with the university and Allo, a local telecommunications company, to create the Lincoln Digital Town Square infrastructure to assist local entrepreneurs. The network will include Fuse Co-working, NMotion Accelerator, Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship and Nebraska Global.

Nebraska Global will provide community applications development leadership, angel investing evaluation and business model assessments for the Ignite Lincoln entrepreneurship teams.

The Lincoln network will feature a combination of super computer hardware, Internet 2 resources, gigabit fiber networks and advanced wireless connectivity.

Fuse Coworking, which offers workspace to entrepreneurs in the heart of Lincoln’s downtown business district, is donating office space to Ignite-Lincoln management and operations teams. Other project partners include the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and NMotion, providing seed financial support for commercialization of new technologies. Beehive Industries and TEDxLincoln are providing private enterprise guidance. The city is investing $15,000 annually over the next three years for the project.

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