Together, the workshops will inform the Commission's clearinghouse of ways industry, and local and state leaders can meet the challenge to establish gigabit communities nationwide. Communities across the country are already taking action to seize the opportunities of gigabit broadband for their local economies and bring superfast broadband to homes. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a local utility deployed a fiber network to 170,000 homes.
Thanks to the city's investment in broadband infrastructure, companies like Volkswagen and Amazon have created more than 3,700 new jobs over the past three years in Chattanooga. In Kansas City, the Google Fiber initiative is bringing gigabit service to residential consumers, attracting new entrepreneurs and startups to the community. The Gig.U initiative has already catalyzed $200 million in private investment to build ultra-high-speed hubs in the communities of many leading research universities, including a recent joint venture with the University of Washington and a private ISP to deliver gigabit service to a dozen area neighborhoods in Seattle.
The Gigabit City Challenge is designed to drive a critical mass of gigabit communities like these, creating new markets for 21st century services, promoting competition, spurring innovation, and driving economic growth nationwide. The FCC's Broadband Acceleration Initiative is working to expand the reach of robust, affordable broadband by streamlining access to utility poles and rights of way, and improving policies for wireless facilities siting and other infrastructure. Gigabit communities can also benefit from tens of thousands of miles of critical "middle mile" fiber infrastructure funded throughout the country by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The Commission's Connect America Fund, the largest ever public investment in rural broadband, includes funding for high-speed broadband to anchor institutions like schools and hospitals.