DALLAS, December 09, 2021 — As part of its $2 billion commitment to address the digital divide, AT&T is opening two new Connected Learning Centers in Dallas to provide internet access and education tools to children who face connectivity barriers vital to their long-term success.
In Dallas, it’s estimated that more than 54,000 K-12 students1 don’t have internet at home. AT&T is extending its reach into the communities most affected by the digital divide with the opening of AT&T Connected Learning Centers in Dallas at For Oak Cliff on December 9 and CitySquare on December 16. These two centers will join the AT&T Connected Learning Center at Family Gateway to make a total of three centers opened in the Dallas area.
For Oak Cliff is a community center in Dallas that drives systemic change through education, community building, advocacy and art to individuals in South Oak Cliff. CitySquare is a broad nonprofit organization offering a comprehensive array of social services that address four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope.
Like the previous AT&T Connected Learning Center launched at Family Gateway, the centers at For Oak Cliff and CitySquare will provide the students and families with access to high-speed AT&T Fiber internet and Wi-Fi. And as part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies will donate Dell OptiPlex computers and Dell monitors which feature integrated audio and webcams to support virtual learning. Additionally, Overland-Tandberg, a leading global technology and IT services company, will lead the onsite configuration of the computers. The company, a Black-owned corporation, is part of AT&T’s $3 billion Supplier Diversity initiative. The students and families will also have access to education content from collaborators like Khan Academy and mentoring support from AT&T employees.
In support of helping to bridge the digital divide in Dallas, Dallas Mavericks representatives, the Mavs ManiAACs and D-Town Crew will be on site at the opening of the center at For Oak Cliff on December 9. In memory of Dallas Mavericks Chief Technology Officer David Herr who tragically passed in April 2021, the Mavs Foundation provides funding through the David Herr Memorial Fund to support education and initiatives to close the digital divide in the North Texas area.
“We know the importance of internet access for our children’s education and for the livelihood of those still working from home,” said Cynt Marshall, chief executive officer, Dallas Mavericks. “Like water, shelter and food, internet access is a basic critical need and there are still neighborhoods who do not have access. We are honored to carry on David’s legacy by bringing our communities the critical resources they need.”
“We are excited to collaborate with AT&T in providing critical connectivity to students and families in need,” said Taylor Toynes, chief executive officer, For Oak Cliff. “This center with access to high-speed broadband is another step towards helping bridge the digital divide and systematically changing the livelihood of individuals in South Oak Cliff.”
“Access to broadband connectivity is essential for underserved communities to reach vital information,” said Dr. John Siburt, president and chief executive officer, CitySquare. “Thanks to this collaboration with AT&T, the Connected Learning Center at CitySquare and its educational opportunities will help ensure the success of children and families learning to navigate the digital world.”
“The AT&T Connected Learning Centers at For Oak Cliff and CitySquare cement AT&T’s ongoing commitment to bridging the digital divide in Dallas,” said Mike Peterson, vice president, AT&T Texas. “The critical connectivity and digital resources provided to underserved students and families will help empower them for success in today’s digital world.”
These centers are part of the AT&T Connected Learning program and our work to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. In all, we plan to open more than 20 centers across the country that will be housed within local organizations that support underserved populations, including some of our nation’s most vulnerable students and families.
Additionally, for students and their families who lack the skills to effectively use the internet or digital technologies, we’re offering access to free digital literacy education courses. Together with the Public Library Association, we’re launching a curated series of digital literacy courses to help those who are newly connected build skills and confidence to use computers and mobile devices safely and responsibly. These courses will be offered online, at AT&T Connected Learning Centers and at public libraries.
We also continue to help make broadband more affordable for millions of eligible households, including in Dallas. Families can sign up for discounted connectivity through the $10/month Access from AT&T broadband offering and can get a temporary benefit on internet through AT&T’s participation in the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.
Working closely with educators and government leaders, we can help connect communities and reimagine the future of schools. That’s why we are committed to providing comprehensive, agile and affordable solutions for Education institutions, Libraries and Government entities to connect students, teachers, library patrons and underserved constituents. Since March 2020, AT&T has connected more than 600,000 students and teachers, across 50 states, in collaboration with departments of education, school districts, and higher education institutions.
In addition to our community investment in Dallas-Fort Worth, we will also continue to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to this area. AT&T is bringing more fiber to towns like Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Euless, Mansfield, Bedford, North Richland Hills, among others.
From 2018-2020, the company expanded coverage and improved connectivity with a nearly $3.5 billion investment in its wireless and wireline networks in the greater DFW region. In the state of Texas, AT&T Fiber is available in Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, San Antonio and Waco. In the state of Texas, AT&T Fiber covers more than 15.2 million fiber strand miles.
We currently offer fiber to over 15 million customer locations in more than 90 U.S. metros, and plan to increase our current fiber footprint to cover 30 million customer locations by year-end 2025.