OneCommunity Announces the Big Gig Challenge

  • OneCommunity
CLEVELAND, OH — Cleveland-based OneCommunity, a nonprofit provider of all-fiber optic broadband networks, is enticing municipalities with a grant incentive challenging them to be creative in imagining how they would best put its infrastructure to use. To be eligible, municipalities must submit applications to OneCommunity no later than midnight October 3, 2014.

Up to $2 million is available. OneCommunity pledges to make the funds available to municipalities in the form of a grant for municipally-led, community-wide fiber construction projects. It is seeking proposals that establish creative and collaborative expansion opportunities that connect community anchor institutions, government facilities and business districts in an effort to attract and retain the innovative and entrepreneurial businesses of the twenty-first century. Funding will be provided through a public-private partnership approach with the grant funding accounting for up to 25 percent of the total project costs for the awarded grantee.

Seeking Creative Proposals
“We are excited to have the opportunity to engage with cities and municipalities across Northeast Ohio. We anticipate that the Challenge Grant will inspire and educate cities about the limitless possibilities available to them through OneCommunity’s network,” says OneCommunity CEO Lev Gonick. “The challenge is for them to get creative and explore and articulate the potential opportunities and relationships that are available utilizing our Gigabit connectivity.”

Interested parties must submit a letter of interest detailing project goals, desired economic development outcomes and potential community anchor institutions involved to Liz Forester at Challenge@onecommunity.org. Videos and visual addendum items that cannot be e-mailed should be addressed to Liz Forester, OneCommunity, 800 West St. Clair Avenue, Second Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

“At its best, this challenge should inspire creativity,” Gonick adds. “We are hoping that the cities have fun developing their concepts. We are looking for responses that extend beyond a written proposal, perhaps including video or other more unconventional means.”

Final entries will be evaluated by a review committee comprised of OneCommunity staff and a select group of industry partners. Municipalities with proposals that advance beyond the first round of the challenge will be invited to a one-day workshop to engage with OneCommunity’s in-house design and engineering team. The team will provide technical assistance in the development of a vibrant, competitive and catalytic digital infrastructure proposal.
Information and applications are available at OneCommunity Big Gig Challenge Grant.

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