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Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $18.5 Million in Internet for All Grants to Five Minority-Serving Colleges and Universities  

December 16, 2022
News Media Contact
NTIA, Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded five grants as part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC).  

These grants, totaling over $18.5 million, will expand community technology hubs, upgrade classroom technology, and increase digital literacy skills at five minority-serving institutions in California, Missouri, Louisiana, and Alabama.  

“Minority-serving institutions are driving digital skills education and workforce development programs for communities across the country, and that's why they need resources,” said Kevin Hughes, Acting Director of the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives. “This program provides the skills, devices, and connectivity for these colleges and universities that will improve their students' lives and create jobs in local communities.”  

The awards will help expand high-speed Internet access at the following educational institutions: California State University, Dominguez Hills (CA); California State University, Fresno (CA); Lincoln University of Missouri (MO); the University of West Alabama (AL); and Southern University and A&M College (LA). More information about these grants is provided in the table below and on InternetForAll.Gov.   

The CMC program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative that will connect everyone in America 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 or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and Minority-serving institutions (MSIs).  

The CMC grants, directed by NTIA’s Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives, cover costs such as the purchase of high-speed Internet service and eligible equipment, the hiring and training of information technology personnel, and innovation and workforce development efforts.   

Additional CMC program awards will be announced on a rolling basis. The final allocation of the $268 million in grant funds will satisfy the statutory requirements that at least 40% of funds are distributed to qualifying HBCUs and at least 20% of funds are distributed to applicants that provide high-speed Internet access service and/or eligible equipment to their students.   

Internet for All   

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.  

Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward Internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit to learn more.  

For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs as well as quotes from the awardees, please visit




Funding Amount  

Brief Description  

California State University, Dominguez Hills 

Dominguez Hills, California  


California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)'s Closing the Digital Divide with CSUDH Workforce Integration Networks (CSUDH-WIN) project aims to promote digital equity by providing access and training in digital technologies for CSUDH students. It also aims to encouraging the adoption, expansion, and continued use of these technologies within the anchor communities by partnering with nonprofit organizations. CSUDH-WIN will be a multi-faceted program that includes providing Wi-Fi access, equipment, technology, and resource support to the anchor communities. This will include distributing laptops and Wi-Fi hot spots to students, staff, and community members; providing technical support to community members served by collaborating partners; and helping to locate resources. The project will also build digital skills and IT workforce personnel in the anchor communities and at CSUDH. 

California State University, Fresno  

Fresno, California 



California State University, Fresno (CSU, Fresno)'s SOFT START: IT-Cybersecurity Workforce Education Collaborative project aims to provide educational offerings, training, and career resources to increase digital literacy and skills to students and residents to prepare them for entry into the IT-Cybersecurity workforce.  CSU, Fresno's SOFT START: IT-Cybersecurity Workforce Education Collaborative project will provide computer lab spaces through the Fresno County Public Library (FCPL) for members of the anchor communities to receive training for basic digital skills, digital literacy, and information training. Fresno City College (FCC) and CSU, Fresno will provide a boot camp and certificates for students to take to be prepared to enter the workforce. Lastly, career services will be provided to both residents and students to enhance the support of the SOFT START program and ensure students receive training for resume writing, cover letter writing, and interviewing with confidence.  


Lincoln University of Missouri 

Jefferson City, Missouri 


The Lincoln University of Missouri (LU) "Connect LU" project will provide LU students with laptops and hotspots to remove a significant barrier to accessing educational resources and support for many LU students. Connect LU aims to provide the foundation for meaningful electronic engagement with educational support and resources that lead to increased student success. Connect LU will provide subsidized broadband access and equipment to qualified low-income/in-need students and communities. Students will be provided extended technology support through the hiring of a full-time Student Technology Coordinator who will manage the distribution and maintenance of the student laptop and hotspot program.  Extended hours of technology support will be provided to students and will include evening and weekend hours. Students will be able to call-in for assistance as well as bring their equipment to the help desk for assistance. 


Southern University and A&M College  

Baton Rouge, Louisiana  


The Southern University "Reaching Across the Digital Divide" (SURADD) project aims to decrease the digital divide by forming a K-12 workforce pipeline to engage middle school teacher candidates, clinical educators, and University faculty and students with interactive Virtual Reality (VR) spaces and tools in innovative instruction efforts and workforce training.  


The Southern University Reaching Across the Digital Divide (SURADD) project will:  

(1) Develop a broadband-accessible digital infrastructure for mobile and stationary environments, immersing the local community in hands-on, inquiry-based teaching and learning experiences using high quality digital content (VR simulations, CAVE simulations, streaming/gaming) through broadband accessible/IT gateways to provide digital skills building towards workforce capacity;  

(2) Develop virtual reality (VR)-infused curricula that meet National Science Standards for middle school students; through virtualization activities, project faculty and staff will provide equitable access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences for all students; and 

(3) Train teacher candidates and clinical educators in the use of the VR environment and incorporating the infused curricula in the classroom, transforming education into an interactive space for strengthened STEM teaching and learning using the animated video format. 


University of West Alabama  

Livingston, Alabama  


University of West Alabama (UWA)'s Connects Minority Communities Project aims to enhance broadband access, capacity, and adoption, and increase digital skills in Sumter and Greene Counties through a collaborative partnership of key stakeholders. With enhancements in these areas, the UWA CMC Project will spark new investment, create and cultivate jobs, support existing industry, and promote positive economic development in a rural region. 

The UWA Connects Minority Communities Project will build the broadband IT capacity of UWA and upgrade and expand network capabilities of UWA satellite facilities at the Development Center and the West Alabama Center for Conservation and Agriculture. The project will provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support to students and patrons at UWA and tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations in the community. It will improve use of broadband services by eligible MBEs and community-based organizations to deliver digital skills, digital inclusion, workforce development programs, and technology services in anchor communities. Finally, the project will provide digital/connected devices such as laptops, hotspots, tablets, video conferencing rooms to UWA facilities and tax-exempt organizations or eligible institutions in anchor communities for digital skills trainings, facilitation of remote/virtual education, telehealth, etc.