West Hills College District announces grant award from U.S. Dept. of Agricuture for broadband services

By The Leader Staff
West Hills College District announces grant award from U.S. Dept. of Agricuture for broadband services

West Hills Community College District announced recently that it is proud to announce an award of a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (

USDA), funding will play a pivotal role in establishing the Rural Broadband Initiative Cooperative Network (RuBICON), a project aimed at providing affordable broadband services to rural communities and farms in the Central Valley.

Project RuBICON aims to empower local communities by forming a cooperative that delivers reliable and cost-effective broadband access, bridging the digital divide in the rural Central Valley. This initiative draws inspiration from the historic electric co-op movement, envisioning equitable change and progress for rural America in the 21st century.

To lead this groundbreaking endeavor, West Hills is actively seeking a Project Director for RuBICON.

Jeff Seed, WHCCD Associate Vice Chancellor of Information Technology, emphasized the broader impact of this grant, stating, "This is not just about broadband access – it's about fostering sustainable farming, building robust local economies, and empowering our rural communities for the digital future."

Project RuBICON has garnered support from a diverse coalition of partners committed to assessing and delivering connectivity to rural communities in the Central Valley. The initiative will collect comprehensive data to understand current needs and identify solutions to address connectivity gaps. In addition to infrastructure development, West Hills will offer digital literacy education for local communities and leverage its Farm of the Future to create a framework for agricultural technologists, propelling the community toward Agriculture 4.0.

"This project is designed to facilitate cost-effective broadband deployment, with the goal of serving as a model that can be replicated across the country," Seed added.

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