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Charter, US Ignite Make St. Petersburg, Fla. the 27th 'Smart Gigabit Community'

Non-profit US Ignite is patterning with Charter Communication’s business services unit to make St. Petersburg, Florida the 27th “Smart Cities Project” location.

Under a three-year grant arrangement, Charter will provide wireless and wireline technologies to the St. Petersburg’s downtown “Innovation District,” the place where the city is attempting to establish a hub for innovative companies.

US Ignite launched the Smart Gigabit Communities program with the National Science Foundation in 2015. Each participating community in the program receives access to a low-latency and ultra-fast network with local cloud computing and storage capabilities that support highly interactive and visually immersive experiences not possible on today's commercial Internet.

It’s the first time Charter has been involved.

“We already provide extensive gigabit network infrastructure in St. Petersburg and look to also provide new and innovative connectivity options that are both key components for a smart city,” said Phil Meeks, president of Spectrum Enterprise, in a statement. “Our technology expertise combined with the dedication and resources of the Innovation District can help stimulate the development of advanced applications and solutions for utilities and infrastructure, public safety and intelligent transportation.”

Added William Wallace, executive director of US Ignite” “We strongly support the Innovation District’s mission of developing St. Petersburg into an environment that fosters job growth, economic development, and learning and inspiration by bringing innovative people and organizations together, and we are confident they will be the catalyst for many exciting technological developments in St. Petersburg.”