BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Cox Communications is furthering its efforts to connect youth with technology by doubling the download speed of the company’s discounted Internet service available to low-income families with school-aged children. Starting early next month, Cox’s Connect2Compete internet speed will increase to 10 Mbps. Cox also will offer in-home WiFi as part of the monthly service package of $9.95. Cox continues to narrow the digital divide by actively promoting the advantages of the discounted service available through the Connect2Compete program throughout its 18-state footprint.
“Technology and the Internet play an increasingly critical role in the education of our youth. Yet, students cannot take the Internet home in their backpacks,” said Cox Communications Chief Financial Officer Mark Bowser at an announcement at Broadmoor High School in East Baton Rouge Parish. “We are proud of the progress we have made in closing the digital divide, but we are committed to continually enhancing the program to ensure it meets the needs of our customers and our communities.”
Joining Cox for the announcement was FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who also joined students that afternoon for a tour of the school’s online learning lab, business lab and ESL classrooms.
“Students with high-speed Internet access at home have educational opportunities that were inconceivable just a generation ago. But students without it are essentially stuck in the era of the No. 2 pencil,” said Commissioner Pai. “I applaud Cox Communications for helping to bridge this gap with its Connect2Compete program. By offering fast, affordable Internet access and WiFi connections at home, Cox is giving students in Baton Rouge and around the country every chance to succeed in the digital age.”
With many schools today providing devices to their students as part of their educational experience, the increased speeds and WiFi service from Cox will make it easier for all members of a household to access the Internet at the same time.
The faster Connect2Compete speeds customers will allow students to access homework assignments or easily watch educational videos. Parents also can stay involved in their student’s education by easily accessing report cards and interacting with teachers online. For example, with the new speeds customers will be able to:*
- Download a document in only a second
- Download a 35 MB video in less than 30 seconds
- Download a 800 MB movie in 11 minutes
“My goal is for every single student in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System to have access to the tools necessary to learn and succeed,” said Warren Drake, superintendent of schools. “A fast, reliable Internet connection empowers our students and their entire families to maximize educational opportunities at home. By raising the visibility of the Connect2Compete program within the community, we are ensuring more families are aware of the high-quality, discounted Internet service available to them.”
The increased speeds will go into effect on December 3, 2015, benefiting nearly 130,000 people already connected to the program. Equipment for in-home WiFi will be included for all families who enroll in the program after December 3, 2015.
Cox also will be providing Connect2Compete customers free access to Cox WiFi, the company’s metro wi-fi hotspot network service available in markets around the country, including Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Providence Rhode Island; and more. While on the go or traveling, customers also have access to Cable WiFi, which is the nation’s largest WiFi network of more than 400,000 hotspots, made possible by a collaboration of cable companies across the country. Launched in 2013, Cable WiFi gives cable customers access to hotspots that are strategically located in high-traffic areas such as restaurants, malls, beaches, sports arenas, and parks in cities that include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York City, Washington D.C., Boston and Philadelphia.
“Affordable, home access to the Internet, especially for students and their families, is a vital component of ending the digital divide,” said Zach Leverenz, CEO of EveryoneOn, the parent organization of Connect2Compete. “Digital equity for students inside and outside of school also requires equity in the type and quality of service. Cox Communications’ commitment to not only providing affordable service, but also expanded speeds and WiFi, is an important part of home access for the underserved populations.”
Cox’s support of the Connect2Compete program exceeds $25 million since 2012. Along with the FCC, the company is a founding partner of the program, which is modeled after an Internet adoption initiative Cox established in 2002 in California.
Connect2Compete is promoted in partnership with dozens of community organizations, agencies and community leaders across the company’s 18-state footprint. The company recently launched a new public service campaign focuses on the impact the Internet has on school performance. “Smart Tools for School” is a highly engaging campaign which shows how Internet access at home can boost confidence and curiosity, ultimately increasing classroom performance. Campaign assets include TV and radio spots, flyers and handbills, outdoor and bus shelter advertising and more.