3Com Donates $1 Million to U.S. Cities

WASHINGTON (01/28/2000) - 3Com Corp. today announced awards totaling US$1 million in networking equipment and consulting services to 10 U.S. cities in a program aimed at bridging the digital divide.

The money will be used to support computer and networking programs mostly in schools and libraries in 10 cities, 3Com said today in a news release issued at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington.

The digital divide is the term used to describe the gap between people who have access to technology and those who do not. U.S. government-sponsored and other independent studies have shown that people living in poor urban neighborhoods and in rural parts of the U.S., along with handicapped and elderly people, are less likely than educated and wealthy people living in suburban areas to have their own computer or to have access to an online computer.

3Com announced its Urban Challenge program in July when the U.S. Department of Commerce released a study on the digital divide. [See "Digital Divide Still Separates U.S. Residents," July 8, 1999.] The goal is to help mayors bridge the divide by fostering partnerships between public officials and companies to connect people to their communities' educational, health care and other municipal resources, the release said.

The cities that will receive Urban Challenge grants this year are Baltimore; Charleston, South Carolina; Chaska, Minnesota; Chester, Pennsylvania; Denver; Glasgow, Kentucky; Madison, Wisconsin; New Orleans; Pontiac, Michigan; and Providence, Rhode Island.

3Com also said the Urban Challenge will repeat this year to provide another $1 million in grants to another 10 cities. The application for the new round of grants is April 15.

3Com, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-764-5000, or at