(This post has been updated; please scroll down for the latest.)
From today’s New York Times:
A coalition of 28 American universities is throwing its weight behind a plan to build ultra-high-speed computer networks — with Internet service several hundred times faster than what is now commercially available — in the communities surrounding the participating colleges.
The project, which is named GigU and will be announced on Wednesday, is meant to draw high-tech startups in fields like health care, energy and telecommunications to the areas near the universities, many of which are in the Midwest or outside of major cities. These zones would ideally function as hubs for building a new generation of faster computer networks, which could make the United States more competitive internationally.
For now the plan is a work in progress, with the universities reaching out to telecommunications companies for suggestions and to corporations and nonprofits for business ideas. The institutions involved include Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Howard University, Duke University, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington and the University of Chicago.
”We’re not asking for government money,” said Blair Levin, a fellow at the Aspen Institute who is heading the project. “We believe the right approach is to have the private sector fund the networks.”
» Read more: The GigU Partnership