Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced today that the City of Seattle has reached an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to develop and operate an ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home/fiber-to-the-business broadband network. The initiative, which will leverage the City’s excess fiber capacity, the expertise of Gigabit Squared, and the community leadership of The University of Washington, aims to stimulate business, advancements in health care, education, and public safety, and aims to enhance quality of life for residents and businesses in Seattle. According to University of Washington President Michael Young, this joint effort is meant to make Seattle the most wired and connected city in the nation and help maintain its role as a major leader in the innovation economy of the 21st Century. The full press release can be found here.
The network, called Gigabit Seattle, includes three components: fiber directly to homes and businesses in twelve demonstration neighborhoods, dedicated gigabit broadband wireless connections to multifamily housing and offices across Seattle, and next-generation mobile wireless internet. These three components together will provide broadband, wired and wireless network, and Internet services, giving Seattle customers new choices. This is the first demonstration project by Gigabit Squared’s Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP), which will eventually promote gigabit network innovation in six selected university communities across the U.S.
“This exciting public-private partnership serves as an example to communities all over the world of how universities and their local stakeholders can collaborate to drive economic opportunities by putting private investment to work alongside public capital,” said Blair Levin, executive director of The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U). “We’re thrilled to see our Gig.U member, University of Washington, at the center of this innovative initiative to help Seattle communities benefit from the advanced applications and services accelerating the meaningful use of this gigabit speed network. Congratulations to all involved in the Seattle Broadband Initiative, in developing this world-class fiber network, that will support not only today’s needs, but foster innovation and serve the research and community development needs of tomorrow.”