AT&T and Charter are working with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to provide qualifying students’ households with connectivity through the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund.
AT&T is providing free symmetrical service as fast as 1 Gbps through its “All Families Connected Program” to families with children enrolled in LAUSD who do not have broadband at home. The program was announced in February as part of the district’s 100-Day plan to expand academic opportunities..
The connectivity element of the program is being funded through June of 2023 by the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program, which supports connectivity and devices for use by school children outside school. Options for extending the program beyond that point are being explored.
“We applaud Superintendent Carvalho and his team for creating a program that brings internet to the homes of Los Angeles Unified students who aren’t connected with high-speed internet today,” AT&T California President Rhonda Johnson said in a press release about the AT&T Los Angeles Unified School District agreement. “We know that learning doesn’t only happen in physical classrooms, so reliable connectivity at home is critical for students to thrive today and in the future. This collaborative effort is another example of how public-private partnerships can play a vital role in connecting our California communities.”
Nineteen percent of households in Los Angeles County have no broadband or rely on smartphones for Internet access, according to AT&T.
Charter’s Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12
Charter is offering Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 free to those without “robust connectivity” at home. The service offers download speeds to 100 Mbps, in-home Wi-Fi, a self-installation kit including a modem and router and comprehensive tech support.
“Robust and reliable internet connectivity at-home plays a key role in bridging the digital divide and helping students to succeed. Spectrum Enterprise designed Stay Connected K-12 to be a turnkey solution so that it is easier for educators to provide an optimal learning experience for all their students,” Bill Archer, Charter’s Executive Vice President and President of Spectrum Enterprise, said in a press release.
The ECF program is funded at $7.17 billion is administered by schools and libraries. The clock is ticking on the program’s third funding window. That window – which the FCC says likely will be the last – began on April 28 and will end on May 13.
So far, there have been 13 funding waves, with awards of more than $4.79 billion. Those funds will support more than 11,000 schools, 900 libraries and 130 consortia. The funding will purchase laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connections.
The most recent funding wave was in April. It will provide $37 million to support more than 170 schools, 30 libraries, and four consortia in Alaska, Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas.