The city of Cleveland and OneCommunity will use a federal grant to install the nation’s first commercially available 100 GB network. The installation will cost $1.02 million and be funded with a $700,000 Economic Development Administration grant along with capital from the city and OneCommunity.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the city of Cleveland and OneCommunity with a $700,000 grant to implement a 100 GB network through downtown Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor. The grant will cover the majority of the project’s costs, with the city and OneCommunity providing supplemental funding toward the $1.02 million total.
The project marks the first commercially available 100 GB fiber network in the United States, resulting from a public-private partnership to drive innovation and job growth within Cleveland. The fiber network will offer any businesses in the region – specifically in the healthcare industry – with a technological advantage, which will drive economic sustainability. The network will be used to incentivize businesses to set up shop in Cleveland and bring with them more jobs for residents.
Many companies in the healthcare industry must manage and analyze large volumes of big data on a regular basis. To effectively utilize big data streams, these organizations must have access to fast broadband network capabilities.
The 100 GB fiber network was developed in direct response to increasing demand for speed and accessibility voiced from data companies, data centers and local wireless carriers. Because healthcare, technology and research organizations thrive off the faster movement and consumption of big data, these businesses will be especially attracted to Cleveland’s network.
The 100 GB fiber network will increase internet connectivity by a factor of 50 and pass through an Idea Center as well as the Health-Tech Corridor and nearby college campuses. The Idea Center will allow for data and rich media to be transmitted quickly and efficiently between research, academic and healthcare organizations.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration offers a variety of funding opportunities to foster regional talent development and spur economic growth. Available grants include:
- Regional Innovation Grants
- Economic Development Assistance Programs
- Planning and Local Technical Assistance Programs
- Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Templates
In September, the EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched the Regional Innovation Strategies program offering $15 million in federal grants to support capacity-building initiatives across the country. The grants are available for:
- I6 Challenge – accelerating the commercialization of technology
- Science/Research Parks – determining feasibility and planning of new science/research parks
- Cluster Grants for Seed Funds – providing technical assistance to support the launch of cluster-based, job-creation programs
Furthermore, the EDA provides municipalities and regional partnerships with an array of tools to:
- Identify areas of need
- Develop a strategic plan
- Build a regional ecosystem with a competitive advantage
- Manage the project with best practices
In 2013, the EDA invested more than $360 million in 670 local economic development projects across the country. The funding helped create or retain more than 67,000 jobs and generate $3.3 billion in private investment.