The Mozilla Foundation is furthering its commitment to gigabit innovation in the U.S. with the help of a three-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant builds on Mozilla’s ongoing partnership with US Ignite, a national non-profit initiative that seeks to expand gigabit technology, the next-generation internet access that is about 250 times faster than the internet most of us use.
At the White House Smart Cities Summit today, the NSF is announcing the grant, which allows Mozilla to grow its existing Hive communities in the gigabit cities of Chattanooga, TN and Kansas City, MO, plus expand to three additional, still-to-be-determined gigabit cities. Mozilla Hives are learning networks composed of educational, nonprofit, civic and cultural institutions. Hives empower individuals by teaching digital skills through hands-on curricula, innovative tools, and inclusive communities.
Our goals in the Gigabit Hive communities include demonstrating the need for gigabit networks, seeding demand for further investment, creating tools that improve local education and workforce development, and teaching web literacy. There will be $150,000 in grants available in each city during the first year of the program. These grants will support the development of gigabit technology pilots and associated curricula on the ground in local learning organizations. We’re empowering local classroom teachers, informal educators, and technologists as co-creators and beta testers of technology at the bleeding edge of the Web. We believe the Web is an invaluable tool for learning and unlocking opportunities and progress. And when people are equipped with a lightning-fast Web, amazing things can happen.
This grant follows a 2014 NSF grant that spurred gigabit innovation in Chattanooga and Kansas City. In these two cities, we’ve worked with 30 partner institutions to foster and pilot 17 gigabit apps, like real-time water monitoring systems, 3D learning tools for classrooms, specialized technology for first responder training, and more. We’re looking forward to continuing this work and creating more innovative tools capable of making a positive difference in the world.
The $3.2 million grant is part of a larger investment by the NSF and US Ignite to apply gigabit technology to the realms of healthcare, energy, and education.