DC to Cover Internet Bills for 25,000 Families
- By Dian Schaffhauser
D.C. will be covering the internet bills for up to 25,000 students
and families through the new school year. Mayor Muriel Bowser
launched the $3.3 million "Internet
which will use funding from the Office
of the State Superintendent of Education,
delivered through the CARES Act Governor's Emergency Education Relief
Fund. Those who qualify are families eligible for food stamps and
other public assistance.
project will be coordinated by the District's Office
of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)
and will incorporate internet streaming through Comcast's
programs. Both promise "up to 25 Mbps" speed for $9.95 per
according to CTO Lindsey Parker, the office is reaching out to
eligible families via email, phone and text messages. Families can
also work through their own schools to get access to the program.
schools begin classes online, students without regular access to the
internet are at a severe disadvantage," Parker said in a
statement. "The Bowser administration is committed to work with
our partners and our community to break this cycle and create a fair
shot for everyone in DC."
new program segues with the launch of OCTO's new "Tech
initiative, a public-private-nonprofit partnership for bridging the
broader digital divide in the District. That includes:
information about low-cost internet services;
training to residents; and
tech savvy among DC government employees.
by the Washington Post,
if funds are left over from Internet for All, the city might expand
eligibility to include undocumented families who also need internet
but don't qualify for public assistance.
the school program ends, Parker said the city would remind
participating families to return their router to the internet service
provider or pick up the monthly cost themselves.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.