FCC Introduces Initiative to Increase Connectivity for Low Income K-12 Students

  • EducationSuperHighway
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

WASHINGTON — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai welcomed the launch of the K-12 Bridge to Broadband Initiative, which will identify and fill connectivity gaps for K-12 school students in low-income families throughout the country so they can benefit from remote learning. NCTA – the Internet & Television Association, in partnership with the non-profit EducationSuperHighway, jointly announced the initiative, which will work with school districts and states to identify students in low-income families that lack connectivity and match them with discounted service offerings from broadband providers, including NCTA member companies. The initiative seeks to build upon the recent successes of partnerships between school districts and broadband service providers that provide low-cost broadband service plans to qualifying households.

“I thank NCTA and the EducationSuperHighway for launching this initiative to make it easier for students in low-income families to connect to the Internet,” said Chairman Pai. “With the start of the school year and the continued reliance upon remote learning in many parts of the country, it is essential that students have the connectivity they need to continue their education through this and similar initiatives,” said Chairman Pai. “I therefore reiterate my call for states and school districts to take advantage of the $16 billion in CARES Act funding that can be used to connect our nation’s students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC has been working with the U.S. Department of Education to raise awareness of this CARES Act funding for remote learning, and this money is already having a positive impact. For example, in the District of Columbia, the CARES Act is making it possible for the D.C. government to cover monthly Internet bills for tens of thousands of children in low-income families who attend local public and charter schools. Similar initiatives using CARES Act funds have been launched in other states, including Alabama and Connecticut, to ensure low-income students are able to engage in remote learning during the ongoing pandemic.”

 

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