UW, City of Madison partner to expand high-speed broadband networking

The City of Madison and UW-Madison received a grant through the National Science Foundation Monday to expand broadband networking and Internet applications for cities.

The $6 million grant, which was awarded to 15 cities, is part of a federal government “Smart Cities” initiative aimed at improving city services through technology-based approaches.

“This NSF grant will help advance efforts in high bandwidth applications, develop new technologies and better serve citizens and the technical community,” Paul Kronberger, chief information officer for the City of Madison, said in a Monday statement, emphasizing public-private partnership as an important part of the initiative.

Bruce Maas, UW-Madison vice provost for information technology and chief information officer, worked with computer sciences professor Suman Banerjee to apply for the grant.

Banerjee’s work focused on improving applications for transit services through the Wisconsin and Madison Metro apps.

“Madison is recognized as one of the leading cities where the private sector, university and city come together in partnership to create opportunities that benefit all parties and our citizens,” Maas said in a Monday statement.

The grant will help fund projects to help city services work well in real time, according to Brian Rust, communications director for DoIT.

“With this grant, Banerjee will be able to work on projects that track real-time data for ambulances and smart cars,” Rust said.

The three-year project includes plans to build a lab for applications so that the 15 cities will be able to share resources to use for their cities’ specific broadband needs.

US Ignite, a nonprofit which has organized tech-related projects for the last three years, will help to administer the grant.

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