Google, US Ignite to host 'Gigabit Explorer Challenge'

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) said Thursday that it will team up with US Ignite in November to sponsor a competition aimed at finding applications that can take advantage of Internet connections offering speeds of 1 Gbps.

US Ignite, the non-profit group launched by the White House in summer 2012, said it will run its "Gigabit Explorer Challenge" from Nov. 1-3 at the Google Fiber Space facility Google opened in Kansas City to market its pay TV and wideband Internet service.

The type of applications US Ignite is looking for include those that would allow a viewer to "touch, move, and control things with your hands, your eyes or your body language," US Ignite COO Joe Kochan wrote in a post on the Google Fiber blog Thursday. He suggested the organization is also looking for apps that are "not limited by bandwidth," can enable real-time collaboration and are "realistically responsive, with no latency or delay."

Google Fiber is competing with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and AT&T (NYSE: T) in the Kansas City area. TWC CEO Glenn Britt has said the MSO has the capabilities to offer speeds similar to Google Fiber, but that it hasn't seen demand for applications that require speeds of 1 Gbps. "I'm sure at some time in the future we'll have 1 Gig, maybe 2 Gigs," Britt said on an earnings call in January.

US Ignite, which is a public-private partnership, counts Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T among its backers.

For more:
- see blog post

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