The Ignite Challenge chose the right name because often times that is what industry sectors need in order to move them to the next evolution of their technology, a spark. Although private companies try to evolve, they generally don’t move forward until they have exhausted every possible stream of revenue from the current development.
While this might be beneficial for the company, society as whole doesn’t benefit. And this is why the U.S. might be falling far behind when it comes to broadband technology compared to other countries. The goal of the Ignite Challenge is to introduce innovation to next-generation networks so information can be shared across the country more efficiently.
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The US Ignite Partnership is an initiative designed to encourage software developers to create applications so the broadband network can be used as it was intended, to move information quickly and effectively. Ignite will create a national network of communities in schools, research facilities and public and private organizations from different industries with ultra-fast programmable broadband services at one gigabit per second. The applications are going to be implemented in healthcare, education, energy, manufacturing and public safety. The Mozilla (News - Alert) Foundation, the National Science Foundation (NSF) along with the Department of Energy is promoting the $500,000 design competition for the apps.
The aim of the contest is to encourage innovative civic use and introduce new ways the technology can take advantage of the potential of a gigabit-per-second connection. They also want high definition video without latency, leverage complex calculations at super high-speed and create programmable networks with one of a kind routing and slicing geared for different industries. If it succeeds it will be able to provide information without speed limitations, the processor speed will not be a bottleneck, the network will adapt to the applications being used, the user will be able assign processing and data transport and dynamically provision and program routers along the way.
The contest will take advantage of the new broadband expansion that is taking place around the country. President Obama has signed an executive order that will simplify the construction of broadband networks to make them 90 percent cheaper than the current price of construction.
The contest has four stages and the preliminary Brainstorming Round was completed on August 23, 2012 and a total of 300 ideas were received. The next three Development Rounds will be from October 4th – 25th, November 8th – December 19th and January 16th – March 27th. A total of $15,000 was awarded for the Brainstorming Round leaving $485,000 for the remaining three rounds.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman