Summit to Demonstrate Next-Gen, Gigabit Applications

Innovative Demos, Workshops and Keynotes Scheduled for US Ignite Next-Gen Application Summit

US IgniteSPRINGFIELD, Illinois, JUNE 13, 2013 – You’ve heard all the talk about gigabit networks, but what can we actually do with all that speed? Find out at the US Ignite Application Summit.
Set for Monday, June 24 through Wednesday, June 26 in Chicago, the US Ignite Application Summit will give the developers, communities, government officials, foundations and universities working with and interested in gigabit networks and the applications that will run on them a place to gather, learn and showcase their work.
As an event partner, Broadband Illinois will moderate a presentation “Chicago and the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge” at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, June 24.  The session will convene current awardees of Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge, including Gigabit Squared, the City of Aurora and the City of Evanston. John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer at the City of Chicago will also present on gigabit activity and the Chicago Broadband Challenge.
The Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge was announced by Governor Quinn in February 2012 and offered $6 million in capital funding to companies or private-public partnerships that proposed innovative ways to connect at least 1,000 end users to gigabit level broadband. The first three awardees have been announced and more are expected to follow. To learn more about the Gigabit Communities Challenge, visit
“We know broadband is about more than e-mail and Skype,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director at Broadband Illinois. “We’ve been working to promote gigabit networks since Governor Quinn announced the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge last year. These next generation networks will support applications for immersive telepresence systems, cloud computing for advanced manufacturing, biomedical health monitoring and more.”
US Ignite fosters the creation of next-generation internet applications that will provide transformative public benefit. By engaging diverse public and private leaders, the non-profit organization “ignites” the development and deployment of new apps that will have a profound impact on how Americans work, live, learn and play. 
At the summit, participants will see demonstrations of these transformative applications. Examples include an audio-visual application for ambulances called WiMed that allows robust communication between a moving ambulance and the hospital and an application that will improve hazardous weather warning systems by connecting radars and ultra high-speed networks.
The summit spans three days and attendees will experience:
  • One day of in-depth workshops focused on technology, application development and communities.
  • Two days of keynotes and sessions that explore US Ignite technologies, real-world case studies, and best practices.
  • One day of demos highlighting current applications in production or newly released ones.
  • Networking opportunities with hundreds of other US Ignite developers, industry, communities, foundations and universities.
The US Ignite Application Summit is intended for individuals and organizations that work with next-generation technologies, including software-defined networking, local clouds and gigabit to end-user. The program is designed to offer value to all experience levels, from students to senior researchers, software architects, network engineers and senior management.
The summit location and hotel is the Hotel Allegro, 171 W. Randolph Street, in the Chicago loop district. Days 1 and 3 will be held at the hotel, while the Application Showcase on Tuesday, June 25 will be held at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum, approximately 2 miles away. Shuttle transportation will be provided between these locations. All other conference events are at or within walking distance of the Hotel Allegro.
To learn more, view the agenda, preview the demos, see who else is attending and register for the event, visit

About our panel "Chicago and the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge"

“Chicago and the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge”

With numerous gigabit infrastructure builds happening throughout the state, Illinois is a role model for gigabit enthusiasts throughout the nation. In February 2013, Governor Pat Quinn announced the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge. With $6 million in capital funding up for grabs, Illinois communities were challenged to submit innovative plans to deliver gigabit speeds to at least 1,000 end users. So far, three awardees have been announced and more are expected soon. In this panel, moderated by Broadband Illinois’ Executive Director Drew Clark, we’ll hear details on each project from the three awardees. We’ll also hear from the Chief Technology Officer at the City of Chicago on the Chicago Broadband Challenge and how Chicago is setting its sights for gigabit connectivity.


  • Mark Ansboury, President and Co-Founder, Gigabit Squared
  • Ted Beck, Chief Technology Officer, City of Aurora
  • Matt Swentkofske, Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator, City of Evanston
  • Jose Calderon, Information Technology Division Manager, City of Evanston
  • John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer, City of Chicago


  • Drew Clark, Executive Director, Broadband Illinois

Panel Bios: 

Mark Ansboury, President and Co-Founder, Gigabit Squared

As President and co-founder of Gigabit Squared, Mark Ansboury works closely with communities, stakeholders and broadband providers to visualize, create and implement Open Source Digital Economic Development and Open Network strategies.

Ansboury’s strength is that he is equally adept and comfortable at engineering and conceptualizing as he is at implementing a community-based broadband network strategy.

He has developed multi-stakeholder Open Network Architectures for communities that include public and private strategies, creating broadband-based economic and social opportunities. His philosophy of embracing and planning for the digital future has led communities to re-think and re-shape their economic and community development processes to include conceptualization, financing and implementation of digital broadband programs that provide growth opportunities for both the public and private sectors.

Ansboury has 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry where he has served as both an entrepreneur and senior manager. He has acted in leading roles for technology consultancies and broadband service providers, managing technical, operational, business development and finance.

Ted Beck, Chief Technology Officer, City of Aurora

Ted Beck currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer at the City of Aurora, Illinois, He began with the City of Aurora as a Network Administrator for the Aurora Police Department in 1996

Beck earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration from Central Washington University 1990 and was accepted into the Masters program at Aurora University in 2011. He has also earned numerous technical certifications along the way.

Beck is the longest active member of the Chicago Wheelchair Bulls, sponsored by the NBA Chicago Bulls,

Matt Swentkofske, Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator, City of Evanston

Matt Swentkofske is the Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator for the City of Evanston.  In this capacity, his office works with Federal, State and Regional governmental agencies to form mutually beneficial relationships that work to garner resources and financial support to benefit the residents of Evanston. The office works to coordinate the City of Evanston's state and federal grant applications, as well as serve as an information resource for the City Council on pending State and Federal policies. Mr. Swentkofske is accomplished state and regional government relations professional with diverse campaign and government experience in both Illinois and Wisconsin.  He is a 2001 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts with a BA in History.

Jose Calderon, Information Technology Division Manager, City of Evanston

Jose Calderon is the Information Technology Division Manager for the City of Evanston. He provides leadership and strategic direction to IT staff, while aligning operations with the city’s business objectives. Jose graduated with a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he received his MBA in Project Management from Saint Xavier University.

John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer, City of Chicago

In May 2011, John Tolva began as the City of Chicago's first Chief Technology Officer under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Tolva was hired to set high standards for open, participatory government for all Chicagoans. The role of the CTO sets as its goals the establishment of city-wide technology and innovation priorities, interfaces with the global technology industry, and modernized, streamlined city IT systems.

Before joining the City, Tolva worked at IBM for over 13 years. In his most recent capacity, he served as the Director of Citizenship & Technology where he led the City Forward project, a public analytics site for city data worldwide. Tolva began his career at IBM Interactive Media, building systems for live event coverage and cultural heritage projects. His team developed programs that performed a wide range of tasks, ranging from contributing idle processing power to the search for a cure to HIV to matching employees with community volunteer opportunities. Tolva received an MS in Information Design and Technology from Georgia Tech in 1998. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.

Moderator: Drew Clark, Executive Director, Broadband Illinois

Drew Clark is a nationally-recognized leader on broadband who brings his talent and vision for high-speed internet connectivity to Illinois. For the past three years, he has led the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, the non-profit designated entity under the federal State Broadband Initiative. As Executive Director, Clark brings a unique public interest perspective to collecting and using broadband data to advance internet deployment, adoption and use. Clark is the founder of the Broadband Breakfast Club in Washington, and has written about telecom and technology for Ars Technica, GigaOm, the National Journal, Slate, and the Washington Post.

About Broadband Illinois:

Broadband Illinois promotes opportunities that high-speed internet offers for jobs, education, energy efficiency, healthcare, public safety, agriculture and government. We collect and publish telecom maps and information, collaborate with internet providers and economic development officials for deployment, and educate individuals and organizations on how to effectively use broadband. Officially known as the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, we are a Springfield-based 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Learn more at and connect at

Tags: applications, Conference, Drew Clark, event, Gigabit challenge, Gigabit Communities Challenge, gigabit speeds, gigabit squared, summit, us ignite

« Return to Illinois Broadband