Austin Receives $295K in Gigabit Technology Grants

Companies, academic institutions and non-profits piloting gigabit technology projects in Austin, Texas, can apply to Mozilla later this year for funding.

KANSAS CITY. MO. -- The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund announced this week at its Kansas City summit that it will provide the city of Austin, Texas, with $150,000 and technical assistance for gigabit technology projects in classrooms, libraries, museums and other community learning spaces.

Austin is the third city to come into the Gigabit fold following Kansas City and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Companies, academic institutions and non-profits can apply when the grant round kicks off in August and by October 18th. Applicants do not have to be based in Austin to apply for this pool of funding, but gigabit technology projects and associated curricula must be piloted in the city.

Got an idea to bring the Internet of Things to grade school students in Austin? Do you want to test your hypothesis about content streaming in specific classrooms? Mozilla announced community fund grant recipients last week and there's a virtual menagerie of cutting-edge, high-tech projects planned for learners in Kansas City and Chattanooga.

When Mozilla bring a new city into the Gigabit Community fold, it creates what it calls a hive. The Austin Hive will reportedly explore how the city's high-speed Google Fiber network can impact learning in the community.

Austinites of all ages will become gigabit creators and beta-testers, exploring technologies like 4K streaming and immersive virtual reality that wouldn’t be possible on traditional networks," said Mozilla on its Gigabit blog.

Austin may have been chosen because of its efforts to address digital inclusion through its Digital Inclusion Strategic Plan. The Digital Empowerment Community of Austin, a network of organizations working on access to technology, believes "the real challenge is that we must connect what's available to what's needed, and determine how partners and organizations can work together to best address this digital divide."

This week has been a boon for Austin educators focused on technology. The Austin Public Library Friends Foundation was also awarded a $75,000 grant from Google Fiber and a $70,000 grant from Google for digital inclusion programs and video conferencing hardware and training.

Learn more about Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund requirements and eligibility on the fund website.

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