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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Washington
  • Kurtis Heimerl
  • (206) 616-6605
  • Jason Young
  • Christopher J Webb
  • Shaun Glaze
Award Date:08/02/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,499,140
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,499,140
  • FY 2021=$1,499,140
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SCC-IRG Track 2: Innovations for Community-Held Infrastructure
Federal Award ID Number:2125101
DUNS ID:605799469
Parent DUNS ID:042803536
Program:S&CC: Smart & Connected Commun
Program Officer:
  • David Corman
  • (703) 292-8754

Awardee Location

Street:4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Washington
Street:4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

Internet access has become a critical component of urban infrastructure, providing innumerable services including employment, banking, civic engagement, education, and others. In spite of this reality, billions of people, even in highly connected urban environments (5% of people in our home city of Seattle, for instance), remain offline. To meet these needs, researchers and practitioners have begun to explore community networks in order to explore novel business models and connectivity paradigms. Community networks are Internet access networks, owned, operated, and managed by constituents rather than by traditional Internet Service Providers. Leveraging local capacity and interest, these networks hold the promise of developing new access models and technologies that allow for the sustainable connection of the “long-tail” of the digital divide and have seen success in diverse areas such as New York City, Detroit, Utiagvik, and many others. This proposal will develop a series of community network innovations using participatory methods and co-development processes with a uniquely interdisciplinary team of research and practice oriented community organizers, technical researchers, and social scientists. Researchers will work with technology practitioners and community stakeholders to identify current technology conditions and community needs and develop novel socio-technical systems that directly support local communities. These agendas will be supported by STEM education programming within partner communities, which will provide a context for local ideation, creation, and support of technology design, implementation, and deployment. This project's preliminary discussions with partners have grounded this proposal in a set of initial directions that will be adjusted based on community workshop outputs. These include the following community-led innovations: (1) novel network services, such as localized content delivery networks, community (non-law enforcement-led) crisis management, and digital literacy training; (2) sensing systems, such as traffic collision detectors (coupled with the above crisis management), and air and soil monitoring, and (3) related security aspects such as network security and community-based information and data privacy. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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