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UB, Mission Ignite to receive $300,000 grant to expand broadband in Buffalo

Generic Internet
Posted at 1:50 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 13:50:17-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Rep. Brian Higgins (N.Y.-26) announced on Thursday that the University at Buffalo and Mission Ignite have been awarded a $300,000 grant to expand broadband in Buffalo.

Congressman Higgins said, “The pandemic forced a large-scale public shift to virtual education, work-from-home and telemedicine, simultaneously exposing the gaping digital divide. Mission Ignite has helped to lead the effort to connect people to devices but internet access continues to be a hurdle. We commend the project leader, the University at Buffalo, and all of the project partners for this collaborative effort to improve access to broadband for residents in Buffalo.”

Buffalo was one of seven communities in the country to receive grant money to improve broadband access.

“We are excited to take part in this important effort to reduce the digital divide in underserved communities,” said Dr. Filippo Malandra, Assistant Professor of Research in the University at Buffalo’s Electrical Engineering Department. “We are grateful to US Ignite, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Schmidt Futures for supporting our proposal and for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable collective effort, jointly with the six other recipients.”

UB Department of Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Dr. Nick Mastronarde, added, “This project would not be happening without the tireless efforts of our team members and partners from the University at Buffalo, Community Tech New York, Mission Ignite, and the Oishei Foundation, as well as support from the City of Buffalo, Kaleida Health, Integrated Systems, and the New York State Wireless Association.”

The broadband access will go to the Fruit Belt neighborhood using a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) based wireless network.