Internet access at 61 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) is set to improve thanks to funding awarded through the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program.
The program is run by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative.
On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $175 million in Internet funding for HBCUs while speaking at Benedict College, which will receive close to $3 million.
Additional schools that will receive funding are Norfolk State University ($3,898,789), Virginia Union University ($2,987,765), Virginia State University ($2,799,180), Shaw University ($5,000,000), Maryland Eastern Shore and Morgan State University, and more.
During her speech at Benedict College, Harris said that affordable, high-speed Internet is “an essential part of everyday, modern life.”
“I have heard so many stories about what it means when folks don’t have Internet. Students who have to sit in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant just to be able to submit their homework on public Wi-Fi,” Harris said, before announcing the administration’s $65 billion plan through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to put high-speed Internet in every home.
White House senior advisor Mitch Landrieu told ABC11 that the funds are currently on their way.
“The idea is really simple is to make sure that everybody has access to high-speed internet so they can have access to knowledge, level the playing field, and have the greatest opportunity to succeed in their life,” Landrieu said.