Ultra-high speed computer networks are in the works for 28 university communities, according to a plan called GigU, to be announced Wednesday.

Many of the communities are in the Midwest outside major cities and the hope is that the super fast broadband connections would not only attract high tech start ups to the areas but also help students and existing companies become part of new innovation clusters. Blair Levin, a fellow at the Aspen Institute, who is leading the GigU project, said the private sector will fund the networks.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been an advocate for additional broadband deployment and faster networks. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Like the interstate highway system and the electric grid that paved the way for America’s economic success in the 20th Century, high-speed broadband networks are the infrastructure of the 21st Century. Combining our nations brightest minds with the best digital infrastructure will be an equation that yields great economic dividends long into the future. This privately funded project is a perfect example of the type of investment our nation needs to get us back on a path of prosperity.  CCIA commends the GigU project and its ambitious goals.”

“It has been our experience that when students and entrepreneurs can access faster connections to the Internet we get innovations that wouldn’t have been possible and that we couldn’t have imagined before.”

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