Washington, DC – February 9, 2023 – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded Universidad del Sagrado Corazón a $2,978,187.00 grant from the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC).
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves announced the award at a press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Connected communities create empowered communities, fostering economic growth and well-being,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Graves. “This grant will expand Universidad del Sagrado Corazón’s remote learning capacity and create new job and entrepreneurship opportunities.”
“La Universidad del Sagrado Corazón plays a critical role in getting affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service – and the tools to use it – to its students and the surrounding community,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson. “With this grant, the university will increase Internet service speeds and provide digital skills training to its students so they can fully access the benefits Internet service brings.”
NTIA plans to finish awarding all remaining funding available under the Connecting Minority Communities program in the first quarter of 2023.
This grant will help fund Universidad del Sagrado Corazón’s “Accessing Broadband Connectivity (ABC): A Pilot Project Catalyst in a Hispanic Institution and Communities Setting.” The project aims to expand educational instruction and remote learning opportunities, spur economic development, and create opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship by building the high-speed Internet and digital capacity at Sagrado.
“This is another example on how important it is that all of Puerto Rico’s institutions be engaged in constructing resilient high speed internet solutions to better serve all communities and focus con develop and train a much needed workforce to make sure that the telecommunications industry is a more resilient one,” said Enrique A. Völckers Nin, Puerto Rico BroadBand Program Executive Director.
“This grant is transformational. Sagrado’s technological infrastructure will make a quantum leap to the highest industry standards. We will be able to push forward our innovation agenda in our academic programs, student services and community engagements. All members of our university community–students, faculty, staff, and alumni–and of the communities we serve will greatly benefit from our new capabilities. We are extremely grateful to the National Telecommunication & Information Administration for this historical opportunity,” said Universidad del Sagrado Corazón’s President Gilberto Marxuach-Torrós.
The Connecting Minority Communities 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).