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Wayne State Goes off Campus To Help Deliver High-Speed Wireless

Wayne State University (WSU) will provide the technical, strategic, and systems support to provide high-speed WiMax and WiFi Internet access for residents in two low-income Detroit neighborhoods. The project is being funded by an $810,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The university is undertaking the initiative under the auspices of the Community Telecommunications Network (CTN), a Detroit consortium created in 1990 to manage a group of cable channels shared by school districts, public television, and other organizations in the area.

"Wayne State University is excited about the Knight Foundation's investment in Detroit and proud of our role, along with our partners in CTN, in extending broadband access," said WSU President Jay Noren. "This is a critical component in our collective efforts to revitalize Midtown and Detroit, connecting stakeholders and supporting new applications for economic development, public safety, education and health care. This project will change lives, uplift neighborhoods and help move this great city forward."

According to Patrick Gossman, executive director of CTN and Wayne State's deputy CIO, Wayne State will provide rooftop space for the hub of the new network, as well as technical expertise in its design and installation. The university will then work with community partners to build networks that extend into the surrounding areas. CTN community partners will provide training and support for local residents.

"Wayne State computer scientists are providing design expertise and are excited about opportunities to include undergraduate and graduate students in the development and testing of advanced wireless networks," Gossman said.

Internet service will be provided by Merit, a nonprofit entity formed by the University of Michigan, Wayne State, and Michigan State University.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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