By: Virginia State University
Virginia State University to improve broadband infrastructure to ensure quality internet access for student success.
Virginia State University will receive $2.2M in federal funding for the VSU Broadband Improvement Project. This project will further improve broadband access and reliability on the Virginia State University campus to ensure equitable and quality internet access for student success.
Improving the broadband infrastructure will allow added high-quality and consistent quick access to information, teleconferencing, data transmission, etc. The $2.2M will allow Virginia State University to improve the University’s wired intranet and inter-building network connections, improve campus Quality of Service, boost the University’s Wi-Fi capabilities, and enable access to existing 5G technologies on campus and in the surrounding communities.
“Achieving digital equity and inclusion is one of the major social justice challenges of our time. It is essential to economic development, educational advancement, job attainment, and general health and well-being,” said Dr. Dawit Haile, Dean of the VSU College of Engineering and Technology and the project’s Principal Investigator. “Since access inequality is correlated to income inequality, any successful broadband expansion effort will address both access and affordability.”
“We need to recognize the role that persistent poverty plays in people’s abilities to access and use the internet. At Virginia State University, 69% of students are designated as low-income and first-generation college students; therefore, student access to quality broadband is limited,” said Eldon Burton, VSU Assistant Vice President for Government Relations. “This funding allows VSU, as an access and opportunity university, to continue to bridge the gap for our community and our students.”
This award further supports the VSU Strategic Plan Priority 1 to increase student opportunities and higher education access. Virginia State University endeavors to become a national model institution offering opportunities for educating students from all backgrounds to attain high academic achievement and employment success rates.