University Receives $150,000 Grant for Infrastructure Tech Advancement

Texas A&M International University has received a Higher Education Technology Advancement (HETA) Grant in the amount of $150,000 from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board (TIF), a state agency.

The HETA grant to A&M International will help the campus to improve its network backbone, expand the network infrastructure to a 1000 MBPs network in critical areas and provide additional computer installations in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

The A&M International grant is part of the TIF Board's statewide effort to enhance Internet access and to improve distance learning capabilities. Grant projects begin July 1, 1999.

Seventy-four colleges and universities will receive grants totalling more than $28 million statewide.

The A&M International grant was authored by Lakshmana Viswanath, the University's director of Computer and Telecommunications Services, who said the University is looking forward to the expanded capabilities the grant will provide.

"We are very pleased to receive this award. In combination with the matching funds we have designated for this project, we will be able to augment our current infrastructure, expand Internet access and operate at an enhanced speed. Our ability to move towards using distance learning as an advanced teaching tool will also be greatly accelerated," Viswanath explained.

Since its creation by the 74th Legislature in 1995, the TIF Board has awarded approximately $202 million in telecommunications grants to 1028 school districts and charter schools, 57 community colleges, 592 public libraries and branches, 300 public and not-for-profit healthcare facilities, 11 collaboratives of model projects and 13 collaboratives of rural school districts. The agency receives approximately $150 million per year in revenues from telecommunications assessments to disburse over a 10-year period.

For additional information, please contact Viswanath in the A&M International Office of Computer and Telecommunications Services at 326.2300 or by email to vis@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Information can also be secured from the TIF Board at (512) 344-4300 or at www.tifb.state.tx.us.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu