As part of the Community Telecommunications Network (CTN), Wayne State University is providing the technical, strategic and systems support to provide Internet access for residents in two low-income Detroit neighborhoods.
The initiative is supported by one of several Knight Foundation creative sector grants totaling more than $5 million; these grants are intended to transform the city's economy by creating jobs and extending digital access to community centers and underserved citizens.
CTN, funded by an $800,000 Knight Foundation grant, provides $100,000 in matching funds to support Internet access infrastructure development in Detroit's Midtown, Northend and Osborn-Northeast neighborhoods.
CTN members include Detroit Public Schools; Detroit Public Television; Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties intermediate school districts; and Wayne State. Community partners in this Detroit Connected Community Initiative with CTN are the 4C's/Family Place, Focus: Hope and Matrix Human Services.
"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 chief information officer, Wayne State will provide rooftop space for the hub of the new network, as well as technical expertise in its design and installation. Wayne State will then work with community partners to build networks that extend into the surrounding areas. The 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. "As a leader in research and innovation, Wayne State and its partners in the Community Telecommunications Network are uniquely positioned to combine their K-12 and higher education resources to meet the challenges of the region.
"We are grateful for the assistance of Merit, a nonprofit corporation formed by the University of Michigan, Wayne State and Michigan State University, which will be the official Internet service provider for this initiative."