New broadband access to increase information sharing
May 9, 2011
Accessible and affordable Internet service is coming to Rhode Island with the installation of a new fiber-optic cable that will connect universities, school districts, hospitals, libraries, law enforcement organizations and governments around the Ocean State and Southeastern Massachusetts. CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale greeted federal and state dignitaries and guests during a ceremony to launch the project held at the college’s Liston Campus in Providence on May 9.
Governor Lincoln Chafee, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse were in attendance. Officials believe the improved access to broadband is essential for education, economic growth and research.
“Preparing our students for the workplace of tomorrow and the challenges of a globalized economy require cutting edge technology and networks. The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program will help us meet those challenges,” Di Pasquale said. “Whether it is a researcher in a lab, a faculty member using technology in a classroom or administrators using enterprise systems to make our organizations more efficient, BTOP will enhance our capacity to use technology to innovate, educate and prepare Rhode Island citizens for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Funding for the project, which will be installed and maintained by COX Business, comes from a $21.7 million federal stimulus grant and $10.7 million in private funds. Installation is expected to be complete by the spring of 2013.
OSHEAN President and CEO George Loftus, who is a CCRI graduate and recent inductee of the college’s prestigious Society of the Knights, said the organization’s goal is to have a minimum of one fiber-optic link for every school district in the state.
“This initiative is a wonderful example of what can happen when the federal government, state government, higher education, health care and the private sector come together to solve complex problems,” Di Pasquale said.