WASHINGTON – Seven diverse communities with a wide array of needs and assets, officially joined the US Ignite network today thanks to a $214,000 investment by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. US Ignite will support the communities by identifying federal funding opportunities for broadband and smart city projects, and by providing expert guidance on how to address connectivity and related service needs in under-resourced areas. The seven communities will join the larger network of US Ignite Communities and include:
- Charlotte, NC
- Detroit, MI
- Duluth, MN
- Long Beach, CA
- Miami-Dade County, FL
- Philadelphia, PA
- San Jose, CA
Among the new cohort of communities, US Ignite will work closely with local government officials and leaders from the private, academic, and nonprofit sectors to assess connectivity options in underserved neighborhoods. Through partnerships and peer learning, US Ignite’s goal is to maximize the impact of newly available federal funds, such as those from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program recently announced by the National Telecommunications Infrastructure Association (NTIA).
With US Ignite’s help, each community will develop a custom broadband plan to ensure residents gain access to the full value of Internet connectivity. Moreover, US Ignite will create a space for community representatives to candidly share challenges, solutions, and everything in between with each other and the entire US Ignite Communities network. The intelligence gathered from their experiences will inform playbooks on broadband deployment, adoption, and use cases. Playbooks will be published by US Ignite, and made available for free on the US Ignite website.
Knight Foundation announced its investment in US Ignite in March 2022, as part of its goal to leverage technology and data to increase civic engagement in cities across the U.S.
Read the full press release here.