New Program Promises Internet Access to 50,000 Students
- By Dian Schaffhauser
New York state has
launched an emergency fund to provide an estimated 50,000 students
with free internet access. Funding for "ConnectED NY" will
come from philanthropic organizations Schmidt
Futures and the Ford
Foundation; the program, scheduled to run between May
2021 and June 2022, is being managed by Digital Promise.
The focus of the
initiative will be on helping schools in economically poor districts
-- those where the percent of students who are economically
disadvantaged exceeds the state average. The program will provide
free mobile hotspots and monthly data plans, to make available to
students who need them. Where the hotspots won't work, the fixed
internet options will be offered. Services will be provided by AT&T
and other service providers.
"The past year
has proven that without consistent and strong internet access, young
people can't engage in learning at the level that's needed for
success in today's world," said Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO of
Digital Promise, in a statement. " We applaud the coming
together of this public-private partnership to address inequity for
New York's children and youth."
can learn more on
the ConnectED NY website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.