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Benedict College receives $2.8M to improve internet access

  • Share College in Columbia has received funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to implement a pilot program known as the “Connecting Minority Communities and Innovations Initiative.”

The initial program will be implemented over a two-year period, according to a news release.  The school has received $2,893,457 in funding for the program.

“The coronavirus exacerbated digital inequities and revealed significant challenges in the African American community in particular,” said Roslyn Clark Artis, president and CEO of Benedict.  “In 2020, we saw firsthand how the lack of broadband access affected our students, faculty, staff, and community. Our goal is to narrow the digital divide for low-income students at Benedict College and those adults and students surrounding the campus.”

Funds from the Initiative will be used to make IT improvements and improvements to the broadband infrastructure on the Benedict campus, develop a community learning center for the surrounding community and begin a program to loan out laptop computers with hot spots, according to Leon Geter, director of Benedict’s Center for Cybersecurity.

The Connecting Minority Communities program is part of a federal Internet for All Initiative meant to connect all Americans with affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service. This program specifically directs $268 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for expanding high-speed Internet access and connectivity to eligible historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities and other institutions that serve minority communities.

Reach Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.

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