AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - 4.6 Million Dollars is coming into Auburn University...from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The goal...help bring broadband technologies to rural communities.
Many of these communities that will now be impacted have no access to the Internet at home and their public libraries can only offer very few broadband services to large amounts of people. Dr. Royrickers Cook, Assistant Vice President for The University Outreach Program, says, "We went out and took a poll throughout the libraries in the rural communities to get a sense of what their needs were and we found that we have many out there that could really benefit from this Internet."
Over the next three years, students from Auburn University and some from Tuskegee University will work on the project. Right now, those students are being selected. Dr. Royrickers Cook of Auburn says many will come from the two university's wireless engineering programs. "We will start by assessing all the areas very carefully, towards the end of the 1st year we will begin to purchase equipment and begin some of the installation of this equipment."
Dr. Cook says it's not a short solution - the 2nd year of the project will be training library staff and personnel on the equipment, and the third year evaluating the progress in the communities.
They're installing 1000 new computer workstations at various libraries and schools and expanding 500 Internet stations throughout rural Alabama. "So when you think of a number of new computers that residents of the area can log on, get a sense of job opportunities, they can work on resumes, they can receive some sort of certificate based training." Said Cook