Cities granted digital divide help

U.S. Conference of Mayors' information about grants

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Five mayors June 17 accepted $100,000 each for networking equipment and

consulting services from 3Com Corp. as part of the company's Urban Challenge

program.

3Com, in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, created the

program to bridge the digital divide by aiming to increase community access

to educational programs, job training, health care and other municipal services

in disadvantaged urban areas.

The Urban Challenge program is focused on education and creating opportunities

for people in their communities, said Larry Geller, 3Com's manager of digital

opportunity programs. "We look at it as more of a partnership program.

We are helping these communities design the next-generation infrastructure."

The Urban Challenge awards ceremony was featured at the U.S. Conference

of Mayors' annual meeting in Madison, Wis., held June 14-18.

The Urban Challenge winners for June 2002 are as follows, with a highlight

of the uses for 3Com's $100,000 stipend.

* Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. of Jackson, Miss. The city will use high-speed

3Com switches to connect a three-school campus to the district's central

networking hub via the city's fiber network backbone.

* Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas. The Leisure Services and Community

Centers will use 3Com systems to augment schools' academic services by offering

online programs to underprivileged children, latch-key kids and students

on summer break.

* Mayor Irene Elia of Niagara Falls, N.Y. Among other efforts, the city

will use the funds to bolster interactive academic services at one high

school, where it will deploy a wireless local-area network among three middle

schools, nine elementary schools and one adult education school.

* Mayor Kathleen Novak of Northglenn, Colo. The stipend will be used

to deploy Gigabit Ethernet networks and Voice over IP telephony systems

at schools, enriching the academic environment and enabling better communication

between parents and teachers.

* Mayor Vera Katz of Portland, Ore. The stipend will be used to fund

the Portland Public Schools' Anytime, Anywhere initiative, which extends

online learning to every classroom in the district's 100 buildings.

3Com's program was first announced in July 1999 as an ongoing relationship

with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Since then, 3Com has presented 35 awards

of $100,000 each to cities nationwide totaling $3.5 million in products

and services.

Five more grants will be awarded at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting

to be held in Washington, D.C., in January 2003.

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