US Ignite Inc., a nonprofit organization helping to accelerate advanced networking technologies, and Cox Communications (No. 18 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) announced the designation of the city of Las Vegas as the newest member of the Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) program. The announcement was made during the 2018 US Ignite Application Summit held in Kansas City and co-located with the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo.

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2015, US Ignite's SGC program is creating "living lab" environments for the next generation of gigabit applications. Las Vegas, the 25th community designated as a SGC, joins 24 other national and international communities participating in the SGC program.

The SGC program facilitates collaboration among US Ignite, universities, municipalities, community anchor institutions like hospitals and schools, nonprofits, network carriers and ISPs. Together, these organizations are focused on developing smart gigabit applications that can address local community needs, such as education, workforce development, public safety and community health. Each community joining the network has made a significant commitment toward embracing next-generation smart city and Internet technologies to keep pace with the world's rapidly changing technology and economy. Additionally, each member of the program has committed to develop two gigabit applications or gigabit services per year that provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community. They also agree to share those applications with the others in the Smart Gigabit Communities program.

Michael Bolognini, VP and market leader for Cox Communications, Las Vegas, presents city of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman with a symbolic $300,000 check.Cox Communications

"We are phenomenally excited and honored to be one of the 25 cities chosen to participate in the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities program," Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. "Las Vegas has become known as a city of innovation, and I know this partnership with Cox Communications will continue to move us toward becoming a world-class city."

While many communities in the SGC program are funded by grants from the NSF, Cox Communications has been the only private business to sponsor multiple communities to participate in the program. Las Vegas is the third Smart Gigabit Community funded by Cox Communications in the past two years. Phoenix was named as a Smart Gigabit Community funded by Cox in 2016 and San Diego was named in 2017.

"Many communities are in search of ways to position themselves as technology drivers and innovation leaders in economic development and quality of life for their residents," said Michael Bolognini, vice president and market leader of Cox Communications in Las Vegas. "But being officially designated as a 'Smart Gigabit Community' and gaining entry into the cohort of national and international communities with shared access to new apps to improve local government services and quality of life for Las Vegas residents is a great testament to the spirit of innovation in our city. Cox has additionally positioned Las Vegas for success as a Smart Gigabit Community through its investments in its gigabit-enabled infrastructure throughout Las Vegas…a critical need for the Smart Cities of the future."

Cox has been steadily building out its network infrastructure in Las Vegas since making its commitment to Southern Nevada nearly 20 years ago. The Company began offering multi-gig speeds to commercial customers more than a decade ago and is set to complete network enhancements this year that will provide gigabit internet throughout its entire footprint in the Las Vegas area, by the end of 2019.

"The city of Las Vegas represents an invaluable expansion to our network of Smart Gigabit Communities program," said US Ignite Executive Director William Wallace. "We anticipate that the addition of the city of Las Vegas into our ecosystem of Smart Gigabit Communities will yield many benefits not just for the city of Las Vegas, but also for people throughout the country. We appreciate Cox Communications' commitment to the program overall and for making the city of Las Vegas's participation a reality."

US Ignite has organized local communities and assisted in building over 100 next-generation advanced networking applications since its inception. Each participating community receives access to a low-latency and ultra-fast network with local cloud computing and storage capabilities that will support highly interactive and visually immersive experiences not possible on today's commercial Internet.

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