JCSU gets $5.7 million technology grant to upgrade its systems and internet service

Johnson C. Smith University will use a $5.7 million federal grant to upgrade its technology systems and to provide 5G internet service to its campus and surrounding community, the university announced Monday.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is the largest federal grant the school has received in its 156-year history.

In a statement, JCSU board Chairman Steven L. Boyd said access to efficient technology is vital in today’s information age.

“Not only is it imperative that we provide stable, highspeed internet access for our students, staff and faculty but we have a commitment to the surrounding community,” he said. “This grant will provide the resources necessary to build the infrastructure required to connect the community to the economic, health and personal opportunities available in this great city.”

Why it matters: The grant comes at a time when JCSU, aided by the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative, is investing to improve its academic standing.

Under that initiative, local donors and Charlotte’s city government have committed a combined $8 million to assist JCSU’s growth. Driving that effort is a five-year framework the university has dubbed its Gold(en) Blueprint, a reference to the school’s gold and blue colors.

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