Under Lev Gonick’s stewardship (Lev is CIO), Case Western Reserve University is connecting 100 neighboring households to its gigabit fiber network. University researchers, technologists and institutions in the region are collaborating to see if high-bandwidth online services can actually reduce violence and crime, increase graduation rates in science and math, and do a better job of identifying and monitoring chronic health problems.
Case Western students will be working with the households to identify their needs, train people to join the digital world, and study how they actually do. There’s an eye-opening idea for you: as part of its core curriculum, a major university will study how broadband can be used to address the most intractable social problems of urban America. The best minds in medicine, public health, education and public safety will put the 100 households under the microscope to learn what works and what does not. Eventually, the University Circle Innovation Zone, as the project is called, hopes to connect more than 25,000 residents.