GigU+Gigabit SquareThe Gig.U initiative aimed at bringing gigabit connectivity to university communities has had some significant successes and appears poised for more, according to a new report issued by Gig.U today.

Seven university communities – primarily in North Carolina — are currently reviewing responses to requests for proposal (RFPs) for ultra-high-speed networks, the report notes. These include Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; Raleigh, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Cary, N.C.; Carrboro, N.C. and Winston-Salem, N.C.

In addition, two communities – College Station, Tex. and Louisville, Ky. – have requests for information pending.

“In ten years, whether a city has faster, cheaper, better broadband networks will affect everything it does,” the report notes. “Today many things a city does affect what kind of broadband networks it will have in 10 years.”

The report also recaps the status of ultra-high-speed network projects that are underway, most of which Telecompetitor has covered previously, including:

The experiences of communities pursuing gigabit networks have provided lessons for other communities with similar plans, the report notes. Lessons include:

  • Organizing community resources and stakeholders are essential for making projects economically viable
  • Start with a clear understanding of how your city’s rules and assets affect deployment costs
  • The right time to start thinking about how to improve network economics is today
  • Success depends on quick decision-making
  • There is no one-size fits all solution
  • Scale matters
  • Experiments don’t always work the first time
  • Local leadership is the single most important ingredient for success

“This is not the moment to pop the champagne cork,” the report concludes. “But enough progress has been made over the last two years that we can be optimistic that enough seeds will sprout and point the way for all communities that wish to have faster, better, cheaper broadband to take action to make it so.”