Twelve minority-serving colleges and universities will receive $33.5 million in Federal Internet for All grants as part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC).
“High-speed Internet service is going to create opportunities, increase productivity, and improve lives, particularly in communities that have too often been left behind.” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “At the Commerce Department, we’re committed to seeing investments from initiatives like the Connecting Minority Communities program create opportunities for good jobs supported by equitable hiring, fair compensation, safe workplaces, and the tools and training needed for long-term success.”
NTIA, which is overseen by the Commerce Department, has awarded funding to: H. Councill Trenholm State Community College (Ala.); University of Arizona; Loma Linda University (Calif.); Broward College (Fla.); St. Augustine College (Ill.); Dominican University (Ill.); Simmons College of Kentucky; Coppin State University (Md.); Elizabeth City State University (N.C.); Saint Augustine’s University (N.C.); Central State University (Ohio); and Lincoln University (Penn.).
“The Internet is essential for access to work, to education, to healthcare, and to justice,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson. “Our Connecting Minority Communities program is about equipping students and the surrounding communities with the skills, the devices, and the capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy.”
According to NTIA, the grants will “expand community technology hubs, upgrade classroom technology, and increase digital literacy skills at 12 minority serving colleges and universities in 10 states.”
“This grant will make an immediate and significant impact on our campus in our technology infrastructure, digital skills education and classroom modernization,” said Anne Deeter, executive director of planning/special assistant to the president at Dominican University. “Addressing technology gaps through an innovative, targeted approach will strengthen our commitment to inclusivity and enrich technology equity for all current and future DU students.”
The Connecting Minority Communities program is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Internet for All initiative that aims to connect all Americans with affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service. This program directs $268 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for expanding high-speed Internet access and connectivity to eligible Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and Minority-serving institutions (MSIs).