2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Building the Future with Gigabit Apps

#sxsw #gigabit

Gigabit fiber means more than just faster Internet. Low latency, virtual networks and frictionless online experiences enable a new world of possibilities. Next generation Internet applications are challenging from both a technological and a sociological standpoint. Software developers are challenged to incorporate new ways of thinking about networks, while civic leaders are challenged to think about human networks that transcend traditional geopolitical borders. Learn how technologists and civic leaders are working together to create meaningful opportunities over gigabit fiber, and how the developer community and civic leaders in your city can prepare now for the fiber networks that will be deployed in the future.



Aaron Deacon

Managing Dir

KC Digital Drive

Aaron Deacon is managing director for KC Digital Drive, a bistate initiative to drive innovation and collaboration within Kansas City and capitalize on next generation infrastructure. KC Digital Drive covers a broad range of issues including education, health care, the arts, entrepreneurship, sustainability and digital inclusion.

He has been an instrumental leader in helping Kansas City prepare to be the first major U.S. metro area with gigabit connectivity in the home. Among many initiatives related to Google Fiber’s Kansas City project, he helped to create the Building the Gigabit City community brainstorming session. He led the Give Us a Gig initiative to educate Kansas City communities about the possibilities of gigabit speed and help neighborhoods express demand for service. And he is cofounder of the Gigabit City Summit, a series of telepresence roundtables designed to facilitate conversation among city leaders around the world about shaping city infrastructure around next generation networks.

His professional background is in research and strategic planning and owns Curiolab, which manages the discovery, creation and application of insights and information needed for strategic decision-making. He serves as president of the Social Media Club of Kansas City. He has a masters in social science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dallas.


Bob Metcalfe

Professor of Innovation

The University of Texas at Austin

Bob Metcalfe is an Internet Society Hall of Fame Pioneer. He started work on the Internet in 1970 at MIT, Harvard, and Stanford. He invented Ethernet at Xerox Parc in 1973. In 1979, the founded 3Com Corporation, which became part of HP in 2010. Today, more than a billion Ethernet ports ship annually, if you include WiFi, which Bob does. After 3Com, Bob spent a decade as a publisher-pundit and another decade as a venture capitalist. Bob is now Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.


Will Barkis

Gigabit Evangelist

Will Barkis is a Gigabit Evangelist who believes deeply in the empowering capabilities of next gen communication & information technologies for everyone in our communities. Until recently, he directed Mozilla’s partnership with the National Science Foundation to create applications of ultrafast programmable networks that can change the world.

Over the past two years at Mozilla, Will led the creation of Mozilla's new Gigabit Community Fund focused on supporting education innovators in KC and Chattanooga. He also led the Mozilla Ignite Apps Challenge, creating a community of practice building tangible uses of tomorrow's networks today. 22 Mozilla Ignite teams have been supported to build public benefit gigabit applications & services.

Before Mozilla, Will worked on science & technology policy at the National Science Foundation, helping co-found the US Ignite Initiative in partnership with the White House. Will has a PhD from UC San Diego and a BS from Stanford.

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