The City of Greensboro, NC has been selected as a member of the Smart Gigabit Community by Segra – a fiber infrastructure communications provider – along with US Ignite – a non-profit organization seeking to accelerate the smart city movement. Segra has provided a three year grant for the project. The Smart Gigabit Community is a National Science Foundation program and has the goal of leveraging broadband and IoT networks to develop innovative new services, driving local job growth, and improving the quality of life for residents.
“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’s chief information officer. “Through this partnership, we will have access to resources that will enable us to accelerate our efforts to expand internet options in underserved areas of the city and put a spotlight on innovation in Greensboro.”
The city’s first step will be to form a Greensboro Ignite steering group, which will have about 10 members from the city’s public, private, and philanthropic communities. This committee will identify and prioritize resources needed to complete a detailed work plan, map out an innovation district, assess current network challenges and opportunities, and expand Internet access. The committee will also create a pilot implementation plan to address issues such as privacy, cost, placement, and coverage and how to bring Internet options to underserved areas of the city.
“We are thrilled to welcome Segra and the City of Greensboro to our Smart Gigabit Communities program as we continue to develop new opportunities for public-private collaboration,” said William Wallace, executive director of US Ignite. “We strongly support the City of Greensboro and the mission of developing Greensboro into an environment that fosters job growth, economic development, and learning and inspiration by bringing innovative people and organizations together, and we are confident they will be the catalyst for many exciting technological developments in Greensboro.”