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Mar. 14, 2017

Since 2012, Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) has improved internet access for local homes and businesses by providing high-speed, direct connectivity through its underground fiber-optic network. A recent acquisition by a new provider, i3 Broadband, will further benefit the community through enhanced services.
UC2B has partnered with i3 Broadband, a privately owned company that will assume management of the open-access network from iTV-3, the original service provider. Based on feedback from community and UC2B board members, i3 Broadband plans to aggressively expand UC2B to include a "triple play" of gigabit internet access that includes television and telephone services. i3's goal is to open up a local storefront by summer; in the meantime, community...

Apr. 30, 2014

The GSLIS Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) will co-host this month's Chicagoland Broadband Communities Meetup, which will address "Cook County Broadband Initiatives and Thought Leadership." Fitz Miller, director of telecommunications and network infrastructure for Cook County, will discuss Cook County broadband initiatives, and Craig Settles, a national thought leader, will join the group remotely to discuss broadband and economic development strategies from around the country.

The event will be held on Friday, May 2, from 11:00 - 1:00pm at BLUE1647 Tech & Entrepreneurship Incubator, 1647 S. Blue Island Avenue, in Chicago.

Established in 2012, CDI fosters...

May. 21, 2013

Colin Rhinesmith, GSLIS doctoral candidate and Information in Society Fellow, was recently featured on DMLcentral, the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Initiative blog. In a video interview, Rhinesmith talks about his study of the Philadelphia Free Library Hot Spots program. He found that creating an atmosphere of safety, trust, support, and respect was integral to community broadband adoption.

Colin Rhinesmith was the lead researcher on the two-year Hot Spots program, which focused on providing access to technology and library services to underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods. Rhinesmith studied what effects this public engagement model had on community member’s everyday experiences with technology. He presented his findings to a group of junior scholars and mentors at the 2012 DML Summer Research Associates Institute in Boston.

During the...

Jan. 22, 2013

Gant leads campus effort around US Ignite and development of next-generation applications

Illinois is a campus with a long history of innovation in computing, from the first graphical web browser to Blue Waters, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. A new partnership with US Ignite, a national effort to foster the creation of transformative next-generation Internet applications, continues this tradition of creative thinking and bold application of technology.

Jon Gant, research associate professor at GSLIS, is leading the campus effort around US Ignite, bringing faculty from many departments together to brainstorm ideas, find areas for research collaboration, and to create a plan to bring new applications to fruition.

The Urbana Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) project, of which Gant is a director, is a founding partner of US Ignite and will serve as a test bed for these newly developed applications.

In August, US Ignite staff members Joe...

Nov. 26, 2012

Research Associate Professor Jon Gant, director of the GSLIS Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI), has been invited to participate in an invitation-only broadband research conference on December 7 in Washington, DC. The event, sponsored by NC Broadband, a division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, will "design a research agenda for how the country can best measure the economic impact of publicly-funded broadband initiatives."

Gant is a national leader in the areas of digital inclusion and broadband adoption. He is the director of Urbana Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B), a partnership between the cities of Urbana and Champaign and the University of Illinois that is building one of the fastest broadband networks in the country. Gant is leading campus participation in US Ignite, an initiative fostering the...

Sep. 12, 2012

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant in the amount of $99,168 for "Inclusive Gigabit Libraries: Learn, Discuss, and Brainstorm." With this IMLS support, GSLIS will hold a series of four continuing education forums to enhance understanding of how libraries can adopt and use next-generation Internet networks to address social inclusion through the organization US Ignite.

"Including libraries in the US Ignite effort has tremendous promise," said Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "I am expecting great results from the upcoming forums."

Professor Jon Gant,...

Jun. 14, 2012
Associate Professor Jon Gant (center) at today's White House event

US IGNITE LAUNCHES TO CATALYZE THE NEXT GENERATION OF INTERNET APPLICATIONS: Public-private partnership will spur development of 60 next-gen apps within 5 years

A new public-private effort, the US Ignite Partnership, has launched to capitalize on what is possible through virtualized, ultra-fast broadband networks, and “ignite” the development of next-generation Internet applications and services for societal benefit. The Urbana Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) consortium is a founding partner of US Ignite, and Graduate School of Library and Information Science Associate Professor Jon Gant, Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, and Urbana Alderman Brandon Bowersox-Johnson attended the launch event at the White House held on June 14, 2012.

UC2B is an intergovernmental consortium that includes the University of Illinois and the cities of Urbana and Champaign and is dedicated to building and operating an open-access fiber-optic broadband network throughout the Champaign-Urbana...