HBC Partners to Catalyze the Next Generation of Internet Applications

I’m pleased to share this fun news. I’m so excited that a Minnesota provider has been selected as a US Ignite Partner – both so that we can reap the benefits locally, but also so that we can harvest the stories and lessons learned for the rest of the state.

Lest someone call this an overnight sensation – and to inspire other communities to get started on their igniting path. I want to point to the last paragraph – HBC’s roots are in a non-profit project begun in 1993, called Luminet.

HBC Partners to Catalyze the Next Generation of Internet Applications Partnership with US Ignite will spur development of next-gen apps

HBC has teamed with the US Ignite Partnership to help realize the powerful benefits from virtualized ultra-fast broadband networks with the goal of igniting the development of next-generation Internet applications and services for southeastern Minnesota businesses and families.

“U.S. Ignite offers the Hiawatha Valley another glorious opportunity to showcase its attributes. We hope the development of next generation networks by HBC will attract many applications developers to our area,” said Gary Evans, President and CEO.

“All of us at HBC are flattered to be chosen as part of this group of 12 service providers,” continued Evans, “and determined to make our effort stand out.”

The primary goal of the US Ignite Partnership is to catalyze 60 advanced, next-gen applications over the next five years in six areas of national priority: education and workforce development, advanced manufacturing, health IT, transportation, public safety, and clean energy. Responsibilities of the Partnership include connecting, convening, and supporting startups, local and state government, universities, industry leaders, federal agencies, foundations, and community and carrier initiatives in conceptualizing and building new applications. The resulting new applications should have a significant impact on the US and local economies, including providing a broad range of job and investment opportunities.

To meet its mission, the US Ignite Partnership has entered into agreements that will bring its efforts to 25 cities across the country, including Red Wing, Minnesota. The Partnership and pilot cities are being announced Thursday at the White House.

“HBC is excited to join the US Ignite Partnership and help bring next-generation applications to the Red Wing community. This is a rare opportunity for our community to leap to a new era of technology and communications that should spur economic development and have a significant positive impact on quality of life,” said HBC Red Wing General Manager Jerry Olson.
“The City of Red Wing is proud to partner with Hiawatha Broadband, a company known for its innovation and community building,” said Red Wing Council Administrator, Kay Kuhlmann. “The community will benefit from the US Ignite Initiative because it helps advance the Port Authority’s priority of attracting high-tech business and knowledge-based workers to Red Wing. The US Ignite will help us attract business that are dedicated to creating applications that will benefit Red Wing residents and businesses, and also the global environment. The HBC Broadband network is Red Wing’s super highway; the US Ignite Initiative gives us a provocative vehicle to transport Red Wing into the future.”

Test bed cities will have networks delivering gigabit speeds. Red Wing is a state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-home network and has that capability, as do HBC’s other fiber networks. Networks in Winona and St. Charles are hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) networks. HFC was state-of-the-art at the time when the Winona and St. Charles networks were built, but today’s leading edge networks are all fiber. To learn more about this project, please visit http://www.hbci.com/About-Us/HBC-and-US-Ignite-Parnership.

Hiawatha Broadband Communications Inc. (HBC) is a southeastern Minnesota telecommunications service provider. The company delivers voice, video and data applications to a customer base that numbers more than 12,000.
HBC’s roots are in a non-profit project begun in 1993, called Luminet. Luminet connected Winona education, healthcare and government institutions to extend the reach of teaching and learning. In 1997, the success of Luminet led to the formation of Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc. Today, HBC operates in 16 markets with 40 percent of its stock held by non-profit entities.

I’ll try to tune in tomorrow for more info. I was able to glean a possible glimpse based on a press release on US Ignite posted last September (2012)…

US Ignite will:

  • Knit together cities and towns across the country with access to high-speed networks, creating a critical mass of individuals and organizations that can develop and experiment with next-generation applications that can’t run on today’s public Internet.
  • Build on the NSF-supported GENI network, which enables researchers to experiment with new technologies for distributing content, improving security, accessing remote computers, and enabling real-time collaboration.  Unlike the public Internet, GENI is “programmable,” which makes it much easier to introduce new services and applications.
  • Foster the development of the “killer apps” that will drive demand for next-generation networks in the same way that e-mail, search engines, and the Web drove demand for today’s Internet.
This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, MN, Rural, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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