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Cities Win 3Com Urban Challenge Grants
Partnership with Conference of Mayors Helps Bridge Digital Divide

MADISON, WI (June 17, 2002) — 3Com Corporation, in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, today awarded $500,000 in grants of networking equipment and technical services to five cities. The cities of Northglenn, CO; Jackson, MS; and Niagara Falls, NY; Las Vegas, NV; and Portland, OR, each won grants of $100,000.

The Urban Challenge Program was created to help underserved areas in cities by integrating technology into their communities and enhancing education and public communications systems. The program works directly with mayors to connect their cities and improve access to educational, healthcare, and other municipal resources.

The awards were accepted by Northglenn (Colo.) Mayor Kathleen M. Novak, Jackson (Miss.) Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., Niagara Falls (NY), Mayor Irene Elia, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, and Portland (Ore.) Mayor Vera Katz.

"Students at every school in the country should have access to the best technology possible to further their education," said Boston Mayor and Conference President Thomas M. Menino. "Unfortunately, the digital divide is still a problem in many underserved cities. These grants will help close the gap."

"The Urban Challenge Program is dedicated to bridging the digital divide by integrating up-to-date technology into communities and classrooms where it is needed most," said Larry Geller, Manager of Digital Opportunity Programs. 3Com's Corporate Services. "Through 3Com's partnership with Conference of Mayors, we can support mayors who are focused on harnessing the power of technology to improve the lives of the residents and students in their cities."

3Com's Urban Challenge, announced in July 1999, has already contributed more than $3 million worth of technology-oriented goods and services to 30 cities. The 3Com Urban Challenge helps to bridge the digital divide by working directly with mayors to connect their communities and improve access to educational, health care, and other municipal resources. More information about the awards is available at

Northglenn, CO - Mayor Kathleen M. Novak
The City of Northglenn, CO, stewarded by Mayor Kathleen M. Novak, is building a more enriched and secure academic environment for approximately 30,000 K-12 students thanks to a $100,000 stipend from 3Com's revolutionary Urban Challenge program.

Utilizing the grant at the Adams 12 Five Star Schools will deploy 3Com Gigabit Ethernet networks and Voice over IP telephony systems to bridge the digital divide.

The networks will also be used to permit parents to gain direct access to their child's records for the first time. Parents will be able to voicemail teachers in order to leave more detailed and personal messages, and teachers will more rapidly respond to parents phone messages. With its Urban Challenge grant at work, Northglenn is better equipping its students, parents and teachers to meet the challenges of 21st century education.

Jackson, MS - Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr.
The City of Jackson, MS, under the leadership of Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., and Jackson Public Schools, led by Superintendent Jayne Sargent developed the grant which will enable the city to use high-speed 3Com switches to connect a three-school campus to the district's central networking hub via the City of Jackson's fiber network backbone.

Using the 3Com Urban Challenge donation, Power APAC Elementary School, Murrah High School, and Bailey Magnet High School for the Health Related Professions will increase bandwidth by 1000 percent while reducing costly T1 circuits previously used to connect them to the city's network. Most importantly, the 3Com solution will help Jackson schools bridge the digital divide by providing students, who otherwise would have limited Internet access, with greatly enhanced educational opportunities. With the success of this 3Com-driven pilot project, Jackson plans to extend high-speed connectivity to 67 other schools and facilities in the district.

Niagara Falls, NY - Mayor Irene Elia, PhD.
The City of Niagara Falls, led by Mayor Irene J. Elia, PhD, is extending world-class technology-based learning to 9,100 K-12 students and more than 60,000 residents using a grant from 3Com's landmark Urban Challenge program. The 3Com stipend will help fulfill the city's strategy to give students and citizens the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce and to lower the area's 11 percent unemployment rate.

Using the 3Com grant award across the Niagara Falls City School District (NFCSD), the city will bolster interactive academic services at one high school, where it will deploy a 3Com wireless LAN, as well as at NFCSD's three middle schools, nine elementary schools and one adult education school. Niagara will also extend online services and distance learning programs to libraries, housing authority centers, youth centers, community centers, businesses and area homes. It's just one more way 3Com is partnering with the city and its schools to build a brighter future for Niagara's citizens.

Las Vegas, NV - Mayor Oscar B. Goodman
The City of Las Vegas, led by Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, is fulfilling its vision to bridge the digital divide using a generous grant award from 3Com's innovative Urban Challenge program. Driven by donated, high performance network solutions from 3Com, Las Vegas will build an infrastructure that will deliver tomorrow's communications services today to the city's 19 Leisure Services and Community Centers.

The Leisure Services and Community Centers will use 3Com systems to augment schools' academic services by offering online programs to underprivileged children, latch-key kids and students on summer break who might not otherwise have access to them. The 3Com grant will also enable the centers to provide seniors with networked programs that enable them to learn more state and local government. These services will include live access to City Council meetings, video on demand for citizen's awareness and high-speed Internet access. The 3Com grant will allow citizens of all to learn about the city's history facilitate the interchange ideas with elected officials and conduct mock voting during elections.

Portland, OR, - Mayor Vera Katz
The City of Portland, spearheaded by Mayor Vera Katz, is bridging the digital divide for its 54,000 K-12 students thanks to a generous grant award from 3Com's revolutionary Urban Challenge program. The 3Com stipend will be used to fund the Portland Public Schools' (PPS') "Anytime, Anywhere" initiative, a landmark academic program designed to extend Web-based and online learning to every classroom in the district's 100 city-wide buildings.

Portland will launch an online training curriculum for its 3,500 teachers. Teachers will be given standards on how to use technology in the classroom to optimize student's learning opportunities. 3Com systems will also deliver several new administrative applications, most of which are Web accessible. These include a student information system, a business system and a nutritional services system as well as many smaller systems designed to accommodate the special needs of PPS's diverse student population.

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference of Mayors are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information. More information about the Conference and CUSP is available at

Lina Garcia: 202/861-6719