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TIA Applauds Passage of H.R. 694 As Boon To Minority Broadband Use

September 6, 2007

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 694, the Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Act of 2007, this week.  The final vote was 331-59.

As regarded by backers in the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) one of H.R. 694's key provisions  would provide up to $250 million in grants for minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions. The grants would go to HBCUs and similar institutions –including institutions "with a sufficient enrollment of needy students" of all ethnicities, as defined under the Higher Education Act of 1965 – for technology upgrades and infrastructure, in addition to funding services for technology degrees and educator training.  The bill, if approved, would require program assessment every three years by the National Academy of Public Administration.

"TIA applauds the House for their vote and urges the Senate to do the same," the group said in their weekly industry newsletter, released today.  "In the world of technology convergence, next-generation networks are revolutionizing the way that we communicate with one another.  It is imperative that all Americans have equal access to new technologies in order for the United States to compete in the global marketplace."

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