October 03, 2022 – A teen writing their college essay on a mobile phone in a fast-food parking lot because they don’t have internet at home. A cancer patient forgoing their follow-up telehealth appointment due to a lack of internet connectivity in their neighborhood. And a family lacking the bandwidth needed to enjoy a Friday night movie together. These moments, and countless others, demonstrate the challenges of living in the digital divide — the gap between those able to fully participate in the modern online world and those who cannot.
For the millions living in the digital divide across the country, this isn’t a temporary inconvenience, it’s a daily reality. Left unaddressed, the digital divide could continue to be a chasm between the haves and have nots within our society. If we don’t urgently confront the challenges posed by the digital divide, we all miss the creativity, ingenuity and problem-solving of our peers and neighbors.
This October, as part of our $2 billion commitment from 2021 to 2023 to help close the digital divide, AT&T is launching their Bridge to Possibility: Closing the digital divide, together campaign.This is a month-long, company-wide initiative to drive awareness of the digital divide and the collective response needed to address it.
Building this bridge requires us to come together across businesses, nonprofits and government to make meaningful progress. With advancements in technology, federal investments in broadband infrastructure and a renewed commitment to digital equity, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring high-quality connectivity to millions of homes, schools and businesses in communities that need it most.
But building a bridge to possibility requires us to go beyond providing access to affordable high-speed internet. We must also demonstrate how broadband connectivity tangibly improves lives.
We’ll share stories of how we’re continuously tackling the challenges of access, affordability and adoption. Working with states, Tribal governments and municipalities, we’re committed to bringing high-quality connectivity to parts of the country with limited or no access, like through our public-private partnership with Vanderburgh County, Indiana and our ongoing work with Tribal lands. With our nonprofit relationships, we’re adding to our network of Connected Learning Centers to support communities in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and others. Connectivity sparks possibility no matter where you are.
Additionally, thousands of AT&T employees and our Employee Groups (EGs) will mobilize to give back to their communities. We’ll recognize their commitment to social good with city celebrations where employees will assemble 10,000 connected learning kits for students in need and host device distributions across the nation, along with additional volunteer activities.
Together, with our people and our collaborators, we are helping create healthier, stronger communities. Our greatest impact can only be realized when we bring the benefits of broadband and digital access to all.