Office of Science and Technology Policy and The National Science Foundation Plan To Start U.S. Ignite

Deputy Director for Policy Tom Kalil

According to the White House Blog, The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation are planning to start a new program called US Ignite designed to promote U.S. leadership in applications and services for high-speed broadband networks. The initiative will promote the development of new applications that have the capability to change education and training, health, public safety and transportation.

The program aims to do the following:

  • Knit together cities and towns across the country with access to high-speed networks, creating a critical mass of individuals and organizations that can develop and experiment with next-generation applications that can’t run on today’s public Internet.
  • Build on the NSF-supported GENI network, which enables researchers to experiment with new technologies for distributing content, improving security, accessing remote computers, and enabling real-time collaboration.  Unlike the public Internet, GENI is “programmable,” which makes it much easier to introduce new services and applications.
  • Foster the development of the “killer apps” that will drive demand for next-generation networks in the same way that e-mail, search engines, and the Web drove demand for today’s Internet.

The foundation for US Ignite has been set with national research networks, which link universities and growing communities with networks with faster broadband connections that are 10-100 faster.

According to Deputy Director for Policy Tom Kalil and  Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director Nick Maynard, there needs to be a more focused group effort between researchers, companies, government agencies, developers, users and non-profit organizations.

Kalil and Maynard write, “By working together, participants in US Ignite can ‘live in the future’ and develop and demonstrate the applications that will be possible when next-generation networks are broadly available.”

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