The University of Missouri announced its involvement with a new national effort by several universities to build local high-speed data networks. Officials from the University and the city of Columbia held a news conference Wednesday detailing the project. MU Chancellor Brady Deaton says the goal is being called “Gig.U.”

Deaton says they hope to partner with the private sector in accomplishing these goals. He and other project leaders hope that the initial investment will lead to grants for research and community infrastructure. Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid explains the need for broadband in Columbia to keep it competitive with other research areas. He compared the data flow to a torrent or a river instead of a pipeline.

David Gaines contributed to this report.