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Gig. U hopes to bring Gigabit networks and straight cash, homey, to university communities

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Familiar with Johnny Appleseed? He who traipsed 'round the country with a sack 'o seeds on his shoulder, planting trees hither and yon leaving apple orchards blooming in his wake? Gig. U is similar, only it's a project that aims to plant Gigabit networks in 29 collegiate communities to facilitate research, attract start-ups, and stimulate local economies. The plan is just getting underway, and the schools in question -- including Virginia Tech, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Alaska -- are asking private telcos and companies to help make their high-speed dreams a reality. In addition to benefiting the immediate areas, Gig. U sees these swift new networks functioning as hubs in a faster nationwide broadband system. The colleges claim that construction of these new information superhighways won't start for several years, so it'll be some time before they can help elevate us from our current state of broadband mediocrity. Chop, chop, guys.

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