The Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program has awarded the University of the Virgin Islands $2,990,594. The program is run by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative.
The University of the Virgin Islands is one of 61 minority-serving colleges and universities receiving grants today totaling $175 million.
‘The UVI Technology Innovations: Expanding Network Capacity and Resilience to Foster Creativity, Enhance Cybersecurity and Improve Access to Resources for Learning’ project aims to achieve broadband and IT infrastructure improvements, and implement unique innovations in teaching strategies and resources to engage students effectively.
The project activities include the replacement of fiber optic cable for faster data transmission speeds and more robust bandwidth; the replacement of routers to address faulty electronics that are points of failure; the commissioning of architectural drawings of residential facilities for optimizing placement of Wifi access points; and the creation of a pilot community cloud to ensure that students and faculty using the specialized lab environment remain connected for teaching and learning during the intermittent power grid and service provider disruptions common to the territory.
President Dr. David Hall, UVI president said, “As the only (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) HBCU located outside of the mainland U.S., connecting our community with the world is vital to achieving our operational and educational mission. This award will address one of our most compelling priorities. I applaud Sharlene Harris, our vice president of Information Services and Institutional Assessment, for her innovative spirit, which has led our university to this significant accomplishment.”