The Gig.U project aims to deliver ultra-high speed internet access to 29 universities and surrounding areas in the United States. Many of the universities are hoping that the enhanced access can increase economic growth and facilitate research and development in various communities.
How fast is ultra-high speed? The project looks to bring speeds up to 1Gbps to these areas. At speeds this fast, an entire high-definition movie could be downloaded in mere seconds. With this type of bandwidth, Gig.U has implications for other data intensive applications.
Who Does It Benefit?
Not only will universities benefit from internet providers offering ultra-high speed internet, but energy, healthcare and telecommunications sectors may all benefit from increased speeds for research, collaboration and sending high resolution images. Currently, 29 universities have decided to participate in this project.
Universities such as Arizona State University, University of Kentucky, University of Chicago, University of Montana, Indiana University, University of New Mexico and West Virginia University are participating. The results of the project will be used to apply for capital and attract investors. The creators will also use the data gathered to design a better business model.
Why Start with Universities?
Universities are the breeding ground for young and sharp minds that are eager to learn new technology. Introducing this type of technology in a university environment will allow the leaders in research to test the network for its viability in the public and private sector. Many of the best companies have their roots from a university research lab or dorm room. University communities are often the building blocks for economic growth in America.
Though many universities also have ultra-high speed access on campus, many faculty and students do not have comparable networks when they need to accomplish tasks at home. This presents some logistical challenges for faculty trying to balance work and home life. Gig.U hopes to examine how to bridge the gap between the community and the university.
Is Gig.U a Valuable Service?
Experts are still researching the implications for Gig U’s high speed internet access in start-ups as well as other locations across the nation. Many argue that the services are redundant and overlap existing networks in more convenient areas. Because researchers still do not know the full extent of the effects of Gig.U, they continue to collaborate to determine how it can affect the workplace, community and university environments.
Medical diagnosing over the internet was one of the major developments made possible by increased bandwidth, and Gig.U hopes to build upon these efforts. Physicians even direct doctors during surgery via conferencing software with the highly reliable internet transfer.
Many students are also pleased to realize the implications of the Gig.U project in the gaming world and in other arenas as well. While the driving force behind the initiative is not to have students become expert gamers, stress relief brought out by smooth, interactive gameplay can be helpful. Gaming may also have rehabilitative notions in terms of improving hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
Students without ultra-high speed internet may find themselves at a disadvantage when compared with their fast-access counterparts. Slower connections mean added time for downloads, web browsing, file sharing, and academic research. Very realistically, assignments may take longer to finish, and fatigue may occur more frequently when the connection is slower and frustration levels rise. The quality of work could diminish as a result.
High speed internet is essential to the success of students and universities. Gig.U is gaining in popularity. With further progress, more universities will participate to improve the workplace and educational environment for more people. The more data points and fresh feedback that Gig.U obtains, the more beneficial the internet project will become for present and future generations.
Note: Photo courtesy of pagedooley via FlickR Creative Commons.
This is a guest post by Blake Sanders, who is a Broadband Expert and frequently writes articles related to Internet Providers.