The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the Final Rule for its Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program this week, to provide $268 million to historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to expand their broadband.
As directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the Final Rule will establish a method to determine applicant eligibility and identify eligible recipients with the greatest unmet financial needs.
The CMC Pilot Program provides disadvantaged communities with broadband internet access service, equipment, or the ability to hire information technology personnel to facilitate educational instruction, including remote education, and lend or provide equipment to eligible students or patrons.
“TCUs, HBCUs, and MSIs are bedrock centers of learning that have long delivered for their communities. But they’ve often been left behind when it comes to having access to affordable, high-speed broadband,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in a press release.
The CMC Pilot Program will deliver immediate benefits to these communities and institutions while informing the more extensive efforts planned under President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.