West Liberty University is now operating on a new Cisco router that greatly increases its broadband service, thanks to a $27,000 opportunity with the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Funding for the router was part of a nationwide effort to expand broadband service across the United States.

James Clark points to the new router as explains the significance of the technology.

James Clark points to the new router as he explains the significance of the technology.

“This means a more efficient level of bandwidth is now operating on campus,” said Chief Technology Officer James Clark. “It also means that our students and staff will enjoy faster translation of data from searches to results.”

The state-of-the art router also may allow West Liberty to get Internet Protocol (IP) telephones in the future, he added. Clark joined West Liberty in 2002 and heads the Information Technology department, headquartered in Main Hall.

The opportunity to get the high tech router presented itself to Clark recently when the West Virginia Governor’s Office of Technology announced that there was a surplus of routers available for institutions of Higher Education, libraries and other public entities. Clark expressed an interest in two of the routers, one for the main West Liberty campus and a second one for the Highlands Center campus.

“I put in a bid for both routers and still hope to receive the second one for the Highlands in the near future,” Clark said.

The surplus routers were received by the state as a result of a grant from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the NTIA and the RUS with $7.2 billion to expand access to broadband services in the United States.

Of those funds, the Act provided $4.7 billion to NTIA to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability.

Since the program’s inception, NTIA has awarded a total of $293 million to 56 grantees, one each from the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, or their designees.

Led by President Robin C. Capehart, West Liberty University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, please call 1.866.WESTLIB.