HBC And US Ignite Partnership

Transforming And Shaping The Way We Commuicate.

US Ignite Will Transform How We Receive Healthcare, Educate Our Children, Keep Our Communities Safe, Become More Energy Efficient, Train Our Employees, And Manufacture Goods.

What Is US Ignite?

US Ignite is an initiative to promote US leadership in developing applications and services for ultra-fast broadband and software-defined networks. It will foster the creation of novel applications and digital experiences that will transform healthcare, education and job skills training, public safety, energy, and advanced manufacturing. By serving as a coordinator and incubator of this ecosystem, US Ignite will accelerate the adoption of next-generation networks.

US Ignite’s mission is threefold:

  1. Spur the development of next-generation applications and digital experiences specifically designed for advanced-technology networks
  2. Maximize the potential of the GENI project’s national testbed network, a platform initially connecting 14 campuses and 6 cities providing symmetrical speeds of at least 100 Mbps
  3. Establish the US Ignite Partnership, a non-profit, public-private organization, to ensure new applications offer high-impact public benefit and/or high potential for commercialization

With support from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation, and the GENI Program Office, the US Ignite Initiative will leverage the combined resources of government, research institutions, foundations, and industry to foster an innovation ecosystem for gigabit application and service development.

How is HBC involved in the US Ignite project?


HBC has teamed with the US Ignite Partnership to help realize the powerful benefits from virtualized ultra-fast broadband networks with the goal of igniting the development of next-generation Internet applications and services for southeastern Minnesota businesses and families.

“U.S. Ignite offers the Hiawatha Valley another glorious opportunity to showcase its attributes. We hope the development of next generation networks by HBC will attract many applications developers to our area,” said Gary Evans, President and CEO.

“All of us at HBC are flattered to be chosen as part of this group of 12 service providers,” continued Evans, “and determined to make our effort stand out.”

The primary goal of the US Ignite Partnership is to catalyze 60 advanced, next-gen applications over the next five years in six areas of national priority: education and workforce development, advanced manufacturing, health IT, transportation, public safety, and clean energy. Responsibilities of the Partnership include connecting, convening, and supporting startups, local and state government, universities, industry leaders, federal agencies, foundations, and community and carrier initiatives in conceptualizing and building new applications.  The resulting new applications should have a significant impact on the US and local economies, including providing a broad range of job and investment opportunities.

To meet its mission, the US Ignite Partnership has entered into agreements that will bring its efforts to 25 cities across the country, including Red Wing, Minnesota.  The Partnership and pilot cities are being announced today at the White House.

“HBC is excited to join the US Ignite Partnership and help bring next-generation applications to the Red Wing community.  This is a rare opportunity for our community to leap to a new era of technology and communications that should spur economic development and have a significant positive impact on quality of life,” said HBC Red Wing General Manager, Jerry Olson.

“The City of Red Wing is proud to partner with Hiawatha Broadband, a company known for its innovation and community building,” said Red Wing Council Administrator, Kay Kuhlmann. “The community will benefit from the US Ignite Initiative because it helps advance the Port Authority’s priority of attracting high-tech business and knowledge-based workers to Red Wing. The US Ignite will help us attract business that are dedicated to creating applications that will benefit Red Wing residents and businesses, and also the global environment. The HBC Broadband network is Red Wing’s super highway; the US Ignite Initiative gives us a provocative vehicle to transport Red Wing into the future.”

Test bed cities will have networks delivering gigabit speeds.  Red Wing is a state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-home network and has that capability, as do HBC’s other fiber networks.  Networks in Winona and St. Charles are hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) networks.  HFC was state-of-the-art at the time when the Winona and St. Charles networks were built, but today’s leading edge networks are all fiber.  To learn more about this project, please visit https://www.hbci.com/About-Us/HBC-and-US-Ignite-Parnership.

Hiawatha Broadband Communications Inc. (HBC) is a southeastern Minnesota telecommunications service provider. The company delivers voice, video and data applications to a customer base that numbers more than 12,000.

HBC’s roots are in a non-profit project begun in 1993, called Luminet. Luminet connected Winona education, healthcare and government institutions to extend the reach of teaching and learning. In 1997, the success of Luminet led to the formation of Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc. Today, HBC operates in 16 markets with 40 percent of its stock held by non-profit entities.