Mozilla has announced that it will provide $150,000 in funding for innovative projects based in Austin, Texas, which leverage a gigabit internet connection. Austin joins several other locations where Mozilla opened up a fund, including Chattanooga, TN and Kansas City.
In Chattanooga and Kansas City, money from the fund has been spent on projects including real-time water monitoring systems, 3D learning tools for classrooms, and specialised technology for first responder training.
The $150,000 fund, which will become available this autumn, will be accessible to local and innovative projects and tools which leverage Austin's Google Fiber network. Mozilla said they are excited to see projects which stream 4K content into classrooms or deliver immersive virtual reality.
Aside from the fund, Mozilla is also investing in what it calls “the makers and educators who make Austin great.” It plans to help launch Gigabit Hive Austin, which is an amalgamation of individuals, schools, nonprofits, museums and other organizations passionate about “teaching and learning the web.”
The first round of grant applications will open in August and applications will be accepted through October 18, 2016. Mozilla says that applicants and projects don't have to be from Austin originally, but must be piloted locally. Mozilla said that, this spring, it is also providing $134,000 in new gigabit funding in Chattanooga and Kansas City; those funds will be used on projects which relate to robotics, big data, and the Internet of Things.
Over the next two years, the gigabit fund will be expanded to two additional cities. The two cities haven't been chosen yet but will be decided from filed city applications which will be accepted in late 2016.