The second round of Gigabit Community Fund projects from Mozilla is happening in participating cities this summer. This round is primarily focused on rewarding cities with workforce development- or education-related projects. Mozilla is also looking to reward cross-city projects, which bring two or more of the gigabit communities together, especially the two newest gigabit cities:Eugene, Ore. and Lafayette, La.

All of the projects must meet Mozilla’s GCF criteria, including:

  • Leverages a high-speed network (gigabit)
  • education or workforce
  • Pilot with “real-life learners” such as schools or communities
  • “Makes the internet healthier,” which could include open source, contributing to decentralization, improving privacy and security or fostering digital inclusion

This round of funding is focused on spreading and scaling already established projects. There will be a “local project fund” available to Austin, Lafayette and Eugene, but the bulk of the funding is available for scaled projects from all Gigabit cities.

Letters of intent were sent to Mozilla Ignite’s Portfolio Manager for Kansas City, Janice Wait, on July 5. The Mozilla staff are in the process of review and will invite successful projects to submit proposals after July 15. Further questions can be directed to the Mozilla representative of each city:

  • Austin:
  • Chattanooga:
  • Eugene:
  • Kansas City:
  • Lafayette:

Austin, Chattanooga and Kansas City have projects that have already been awarded funding and are looking to expand. Austin’s Code for America brigade worked with a local journalism organization to create an online portal designed to walk a citizen through the process of creating a city budget. They’re seeking a grant to create an online curriculum for a mock budget session committee with real educators, then expand it to other cities. The project’s ultimate goal: help citizens become involved in city planning and understand balancing budgets.

Chattanooga has a few projects based in 4K and 360 low-latency video, including one in which students watch a microscope from a STEM high school thousands of miles away to have better access to more material, equipment and opportunities. Another project provides a live stream of the Tennessee aquarium to local schools for education in sciences or possibly for use in English classes as writing prompts or inspiration. Finally, a third project uses 4K video to stream musicians playing together. The low latency video allows them to sync their music correctly, benefitting from the digital collaboration.

Kansas City’s Gigabots project, run by Jonathan Wagner, has been successful since its last round of funding. Wagner has deployed it in several high school and junior high classes, and has even entered in an Austin Cross-City project with students there.

As the second round of GCF projects continues, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of all involved.

Further Reading

Digital Inclusion hears from UMKC, Google Fiber and focuses on digital inclusion themes to address

April’s Digital Inclusion Coalition meeting included speakers Noah Worcester from UMKC and Rachel Merlo from Google Fiber before breaking into a workout session. Noah Worcester, UMKC Office of Digital Inclusion student organization president, spoke to the Coalition about creating digital equity within the UMKC school system. His organization has gone about identifying issues within the […]

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